Saudi establishes camel milk firm in California

Updated 02 July 2014
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Saudi establishes camel milk firm in California

A young Saudi has established a company selling camel's milk in the United States, despite the animals reportedly being the source of the Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) coronavirus.
According to a report in a Los Angeles newspaper, Walid Abdulwahab, 23, set up the company as part of his class project at the University of Southern California.
The lighthearted slogan of his company, Desert Farms, is "Make every day a humpday."
Supplied by seven small camel farms, most of them owned by Amish, the Santa Monica-based company recently sold camel milk of $100,000, as it spreads its claims of nutritional and health benefits, the report stated.
"What we know about the camel milk is that, in terms of health, it outperforms every other dairy beverage," Abdulwahab reportedly said.
With no appreciable difference in taste from cow's milk, camel's has 50 percent less fat and about 40 fewer calories per cup. It also has about the same amounts of other nutrients. Desert Farms sells milk raw or pasteurized, with the pasteurized version in most stores, the report stated.
But it doesn't come cheap. A pint, or almost 500mls, costs $16 to $19 online (SR60 to SR71).
The report stated that Abdulwahab's project was inspired by a visit home to Saudi Arabia. After investing his own funds to launch in January, he now supplies camel's milk to stores in Northern California, in addition to selling it online.
Around 80 percent of its products are sold to families that have autistic children, because camel's milk apparently helps to improve the motor skills of these children.
"Camel milk has been used for centuries in the Middle East by nomads and Bedouins, and they swore by it," he said.
"That's why people have faith in it, it's a historical product."
While researching his class project, he learned that some farms in the West and Midwest, mostly owned by Amish, milked camels. He approached them, and soon seven small farms began supplying milk for Desert Farms, the report stated.
According to Abdulwahab, cows outnumber camels by about 18,000 to 1 in US, making cow's milk less pricey.
"Nobody has tested camel's milk scientifically," said Jay Gargus, director of the University of California Irvine Center for Autism Research and Translation.
After partnering with Christina Adams, a writer who has reported success with camel milk and her own son, the Irvine labs began tests this month to "see if there's some basis to it," he reportedly said.


Saudi Arabia ‘racing into the future’ with Formula E

Updated 15 December 2018
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Saudi Arabia ‘racing into the future’ with Formula E

  • A first for Saudi Arabia and the region, the event’s magnitude reflects the Kingdom’s goal of hosting major events and promoting them domestically and globally
  • “This is unprecedented and fabulous,” one concert-goer said. Another said: “I can’t believe I’m in Saudi Arabia.” 

RIYADH: Formula E is one for the books. Attracting fans from all over the world, the mega event — held in the historic Saudi town of Ad Diriyah, a UNESCO World Heritage Site — is set to revolutionize motorsports by using only electric race cars. 

Officially known as the ABB FIA Formula E Championship, the race expects to draw 40,000 attendees, with access not only to the race but also to the Kingdom’s largest ever festival for music, entertainment and cultural activities.

A first for Saudi Arabia and the region, the event’s magnitude reflects the Kingdom’s goal of hosting major events and promoting them domestically and globally.

A milestone was marked as Bandar Alesayi and Ahmed bin Khanen became the first Saudi I-Pace eTrophy racers, sponsored by the General Sports Authority (GSA). 

Both drivers predict increased grassroots support in the Kingdom for youths to train in carting and race-car driving.  

At 1.76 miles long with 21 corners, the track is somewhat tricky for first-time Formula E drivers.

“The system is like Mario Bros when they get the little star and go faster,” said Formula E founder and CEO Alejandro Agag. The new electric circuit in Saudi Arabia has been hailed as one of the best Formula E tracks.

The three-day event is hosting some of the world’s top singers, including Jason Derulo, Enrique Iglesias, Amr Diab, Black Eyed Peas, David Guetta and One Republic, along with DJ EJ. 

“This is unprecedented and fabulous,” one concert-goer said. Another said: “I can’t believe I’m in Saudi Arabia.” 

Outside the venue, Al-Bujairy, one of Ad Diriyah’s historic areas, hosts high-end restaurants, cafes and local designer outlets overlooking the historic district of At-Turaif, which was once home to the Saudi royal family and has newly opened for visitors.

Another area of interest is the Family Zone, with many events and activities to entertain all age groups. Men, women and children are given different driving experiences.

In Ad Diriyah’s Formula E, only one car is allowed per driver instead of two, making pit stops more crucial in terms of timing.  

“Attack mode” gives cars a temporary power boost from 200 to 225 kilowatts, equivalent to 268-302 horsepower. Drivers need to move to a certain area on the track to activate this mode.

“Saudi Arabia is racing into the future with Formula E, as we open the Kingdom to the world in a transformation that’s being supercharged by the Vision 2030 plan, driven forward by Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman,” Prince Abdul Aziz bin Turki Al-Faisal Al-Saud, vice-chair of the Saudi Arabian General Sports Authority, told Arab News.