AlUla Camel Cup: Saudi Arabia holds region's most expensive race with $21 mln prizes

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In the middle of the arid desert of AlUla in northwest Saudi Arabia, audiences gathered for the inaugural Camel Cup race.

With a prize pool of over $21 million, the race is said to be the biggest and most expensive in the region. Camel owners and breeders from different parts of the world gathered in the Kingdom to compete in the event, held between March 14 and March 17.

One unlikely participant is American record producer, Swizz Beatz, who is married to singer Alicia Keys.

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“To be a part of this with my team is amazing, not only being the first American team in the history of the sport and federation, but to be a part of history here in AlUla for the biggest cup, the biggest prize. We came in fifth place today, hamdella (thank God) top five, we’re going to work up to be number one inshalla (God willing),” said the producer.

In addition to the races, there are also cultural events and exhibitions showcasing the history and heritage of the region.

In Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman’s push to transform Saudi Arabia’s economy and society, AlUla has gained prominence.

The Kingdom is banking on tourism as it tries to open up to the world and diversify its economy away from oil.

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