Camel beauty pageant to be held in Abu Dhabi from December 14-21

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A week-long camel beauty pageant in Abu Dhabi emirate will begin on December 14, instead of December 23 as originally planned, according to the official WAM news agency.

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Contestants at the Madinat Zayed Camel Beauty Pageant, part of the annual Al Dhafra Festival, will be judged on their physical attributes.

Purebred camels from the Asayel and Majaheem bloodlines will take part.

Prize money for the four camel beauty pageants at the Al Dhafra Festival will total $30 million (AED110 million).

Festival patron Crown Prince Mohammed bin Zayed increased the prize money to promote the United Arab Emirates’ Bedouin heritage, according to the Abu Dhabi Media Office.

The event will also offer sellers the chance to fetch huge prices for their purebreds through auctions and private sales.

As well as the four beauty pageants, the Al Dhafra Festival will include a litany of traditional Emirati activities.

There will be falconry competitions; nearly 300 Arabian horse, camel, and saluki races; and more than 2,700 prizes for the various contests.

The festival will run until January 22, 2022, in Madinat Zayed, Abu Dhabi.

It is the 15th incarnation of the festival and coincides with the 50th anniversary of the UEA’s founding.

Camel beauty festivals are becoming more common across Gulf states, which are seeking to preserve their cultural heritage as they are catapulted into modernity.

Saudi Arabia is hosting the sixth King Abdulaziz Camel Festival, the world’s largest, around 100 kilometers north of Riyadh.

Prizewinners are expected to take home a total of $66 million (SAR250,000,000).

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