Camels strut their stuff in UAE 'beauty pageant'

10,000 GCC camels compete for US $9.5 million


More than 10,000 camels from across the Gulf will be competing for millions of dollars in prize money at a beauty pageant for the "ship of the desert" in Abu Dhabi next week.

The contest is part of a camel festival being staged from Wednesday in the capital of the United Arab Emirates which aims to celebrate and preserve the region's cultural heritage

Camels from Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar and Saudi Arabia will strut their stuff before a panel of expert judges who will decide which owners should be awarded prize money totaling around 9.5 million dollars. One hundred cars are also up for grabs.

"Preserving the rich heritage of the UAE and passing it on to future generations constitutes one of the most important missions which people of the UAE wish to undertake, by connecting our culturally rich past with our aspired bright and prosperous future," the official WAM news agency quoted festival organizer Mohammed al-Mazrouei as saying earlier this week.

Abu Dhabi, one of seven emirates that makes up the UAE federation, produced the world's first test-tube purebred camel and has begun using remote-controlled robot riders in its camel races.