KSA’s King Abdul Aziz Camel Festival attracts visitors from around the world

The King Abdul Aziz Camel Festival seeks to connect the new generation to the ancient Arab heritage. (SPA)
Updated 26 February 2019
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KSA’s King Abdul Aziz Camel Festival attracts visitors from around the world

  • The event focuses on Saudi cultural heritage, with camels having played an important role in the region

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.


Hajj Ministry: More than 7.46m Umrah visas issued so far

Updated 25 May 2019
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Hajj Ministry: More than 7.46m Umrah visas issued so far

  • The largest number of pilgrims are from Pakistan
  • The Vision 2030 reform plan aims to attract more than 30 million Umrah pilgrims, and provide them with excellent services and an outstanding experience

RIYADH: The number of Umrah visas issued this year has reached 7,463,259, of which 6,964,943 pilgrims have arrived in the Kingdom, according to data provided by the Hajj Ministry.
There are 925,246 pilgrims still in the Kingdom, with 679,929 in Makkah and 245,317 in Madinah, the Saudi Press Agency reported.
Most pilgrims — 6,185,504 — came to the Kingdom by air, while 671,356 entered by land and 108,083 arrived by sea.
The largest number of pilgrims are from Pakistan (1,530,855) followed by Indonesia (934,827), India (635,675), Egypt (524,728), Algeria (353,425), Yemen (323,083), Turkey (300,517), Malaysia (26,9554), Iraq (268,179) and Jordan (194,908).
The weekly data also included the number of Saudi staff within Umrah companies and institutions. They are 10,852 Saudis including 8,978 males and 1,874 females.
Developing Hajj and Umrah organizations and services in the Kingdom is among the top priorities of the Saudi government.
The Vision 2030 reform plan aims to attract more than 30 million Umrah pilgrims, and provide them with excellent services and an outstanding experience.