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More than 1,500 camel owners gather for national fair

Camel owners arrive to take part in the King Abdul Aziz Camel Festival on Sunday. (AN photo)
JEDDAH: More than 1,500 camel owners and more than 26,000 camels are participating in a beauty pageant, with total prizes worth SR113,600,000, at the King Abdul Aziz Camel Festival.
The festival kicks off on Monday under the auspices of King Salman in Riyadh’s southern Sayahdah district of Al-Dahnaa on the road between Al-Rumahiyah and Al-Hafna.
The official spokesman for the festival, Sultan Al-Bokomi, said this year’s festival would include 28 activities. “One of the most important additions to the festival this year is the King Abdul Aziz Camel Racing Award, where camel owners compete for the largest prize for camel racing in the world,” he said.
The first day of the festival will include the launching of new accompanying events including “Saudi Al-Arada; heritage and performance, camel species and their funny stories, panoramic dome, sand arts, recreation camp, camels’ decorative drawing and other activities,” Al-Bokomi said.
The events will also include “Al-Dahnaa Caravan, Taalil tent, Our brave soldiers, Senam exhibition, Al-Hanaa market, the heritage market, and the food tent.”
Al-Bokomi pointed out that the booklet of events can be found at alaibilfestival.com, with details of how to register in other competitions.
The official spokesman called on everyone to enjoy the festival and to feel the cultural and national values in its activities and its concepts, and also to become acquainted with the huge amount of information provided in the festival and its activities about camel heritage and the culture of the desert, the first component of Saudi culture.
The competition has become an event that people have come to expect annually during the winter over the past 15 years.
The King Abdul Aziz Foundation for Research and Archives (Darah) cooperated with several relevant authorities to organize this festival, especially the Ministry of the Interior, which sets regulations and procedures. The Ministry of Environment, Water and Agriculture also contributed in setting the regulations for the veterinary aspects to protect camels.
The Ministry of Health monitors health developments associated with this occasion, while the Arriyadh Development Authority selects the location, design and planning.
The Ministry of Municipal and Rural Affairs, the Ministry of Culture and Information and many other bodies are working jointly to carry out a festival that matches the position of Saudi Arabia and the size of the occasion.

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