RIYADH - Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman has ordered that the camel racing for this year be held within the King Abdul Aziz Camel Festival and that a high-level special track in the Saudi Camel Village to be created.
The crown prince’s directives represent the care King Salman gives to camel and folkloric sports and the special care given by Crown Prince Mohammed to camel sports and their development, based on an ambitious vision in line with the Kingdom’s position and the aspirations of its people.
This year, King Salman was the chief guest at the closing of the month-long King Abdul Aziz Camel Festival held in Rumah, 120 km northeast of Riyadh, which aims to celebrate Saudi culture and traditions.
The beauty pageant attracted some 1,400 camel owners from different Gulf countries, bringing many thousands of camels with them.
A total of 270 prizes were given for the four-legged supermodels, who were judged in five different categories.
The contest — called “Mazayen Al-Ibl,” or “the beautiful camels,” in Arabic — was overseen by a jury of Bedouins, who are considered experts in camel-rearing.
The competition was founded in 1999 by a group of local Bedouin people, and went on to receive support from the Saudi royal family.
Due to its rising popularity it turned into a heritage festival, attracting people from across the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) to travel to showcase their finest camels.