RIYADH As many as 10 Saudi women jockeys have qualified from among a total of 38 female contestants in the first round of the sixth edition of King Abdulaziz Camel Festival on Saturday.

A large number of women fans were among the attendees to watch the race in which women were participating for the first time in the festival’s history.

They participated in the individual women’s race dedicated to three color categories plus an individual category of meghatirs, which is an ancient and highly valued breed of camel.

The individual open round for women has been introduced for the first time in the camel race, which is being held on a sprawling area covering 32 square kilometers in the southern Sayahadah district of Al-Dahnaa, 100 north east of Riyadh.

Winners of the races will be awarded with cash prizes worth SR88 million, the biggest of their kind in the world.

The individual participants contested in front of the jury and 10 out of 38 qualified. Among the qualified women, five won first positions.

The women’s participation in the festival is aimed to spread the concept of Saudi women’s participation, wearing in their traditional and Bedouin dresses, as well as to provide challenges and strong competitions among the participants in different categories of the race.

The Saudi capital Riyadh is hosting the largest festival of its kind in the world, which specializes in camels and their beauty, bringing together leading owners of camels from Saudi Arabia, other Gulf and Arab countries, and some participants from countries around the world, such as the United States of America, Russia and France.

Around 100,000 people including tourists from around the world are visiting the grand festival on an average daily basis. The festival features a wide variety of entertainment and cultural shows that make it a global carnival.

The activities of the festival also include poetry evening, theater shows, concerts and entertainment shows that cater to people from all age groups.

There are about 5,000 people working to make the festival a great success. The festival has also been instrumental in boosting economic activities with hosting popular markets specialized in the exhibits of productive familie

This is in addition to a market for buying and selling camels. The camel market is considered as the largest in the Gulf region in terms of deals and financial transactions worth a total of around SR3 billion.

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