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Dubai Camel Racing Festival – Showcasing rich Arab traditions

The Dubai Camel Racing Festival is an event of its kind which has kept the traditional Arab cultural roots alive. I had long heard about this famous event and was eager to attend it at least once. Last year, I traveled from Los Angeles to attend the camel race in the prosperous, flourishing tiny Middle Eastern emirate in the UAE. It has today become one of the major tourist attractions in the entire Gulf region.

The Dubai Camel Racing Festival takes place every year over a 6-month period during the winter season. The camel race is a popular sport for the residents of Dubai and other Middle East nations. The Al Marmoum Camel Racetrack on Dubai Al Ain Road is a beehive of activities during the entire festival duration. The camel races usually start in the month of October and continue until March-April. The festival venue presents a fascinating sight with humpy camels, robot jockeys, camel trainers, visitors and tourists jostling for spaces and having a gala time.

In 2014, the Dubai Camel Racing Festival is being held from April 6-17. Around 12,000 camels are expected to participate in this year’s event. The camels would be brought from various Middle East countries such as the UAE, Qatar, Oman, Bahrain, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and Kuwait. Last year, it was great fun watching above 315 camel races being held over a 12-day period. I stayed for the entire duration. It was thrilling and exciting to attend this prestigious event.

The festival offers complimentary access to all. Every year the competitors, visitors and tourists at the event have been significantly increasing. More than 80 camels can be seen participating in one single race. This, however, also depends on the number of camel owners actually turning up for the race.

Much is at stake at the Dubai Camel Racing Festival. There are several prizes to be won here. This includes around 300 luxury cars as well as cash prizes. The visitors and tourists attending the festival are also given gifts.

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