JEDDAH: The third King Abdul Aziz Camel Festival, in the southern Sayahdah district of Al-Dahnaa southeast of Riyadh, has attracted camel lovers and camel racing enthusiasts from Gulf and Arab countries.
The bleachers of the festival and the Saudi Camel Village were crowded with participants and visitors enjoying the event.
The Omani Royal Camel Corps performed four shows in the festival’s open-air theater while playing their own music amid considerable interaction from the audience.
The show began with the band riding on camels and presenting different formations in a circular shape, with seven camels moving in a circular motion and running fast, led by one man who controlled them with long ropes in a simulation of circus horses.
There was also a show of Al-Azi art, which is attributed to the skill of praise and pride, in addition to a final show that gathered the camels in one place and had a camel with a banner that said “Thank you,” while another camel raised a bouquet of roses with its mouth to signal the end of the shows.
Mohammed bin Khalifah, an Emirati who has been attending the festival since it began on Feb. 5, praised the event: “After having attended the previous King Abdul Aziz Camel Festival, I have come to this year’s festival with my friends and noticed that it has significantly changed.”
He said that he attended several camel beauty contests but had never seen camels that were as beautiful as the ones at the King Abdul Aziz Camel Festival.
“The beauty contest is made unique by the exciting competition between camel owners to the point that we are following all the results on the Camel Club’s Twitter account,” he said.
Egypt participated in the camel races at the festival with 29 camels. The head of the competitions committee at the Egyptian Camel Federation, Salama Abu El-Nada, said that camel corps have come from all Egyptian governorates.
Abu El-Nada said that the participation of the Egyptian camel corps will be at the end of the festival from March 11 to 20.
He expressed his pride that the Egyptian camel corps will be participating in one of the most important camel racing events in the world.
On the sidelines of the festival, the Camel Museum exhibits the history of camels in Islam and Arab countries and how they evolved throughout history.
The museum aims to identify and review the history of camels and the stages of their evolution through murals decorating the museum.
The museum also features a mummified statuette of Khuzama, one of the camels participating in past editions of the festival. It represents the beauty of camels and the use of the latest means of mummification.
The Camel Museum included an overview of camel models, types, and benefits, as well as paintings and drawings made of camel hair, showing the beauty and detail of its craftsmanship.