Ships of the desert take center stage in Riyadh

Participants are paraded on Wednesday in the third edition of the King Abdul Aziz Camel Festival. (SPA)
Updated 15 March 2019
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Ships of the desert take center stage in Riyadh

  • Some 10,762 camels are participating in the camel beauty contest, the main feature of the festival
  • To guard against cheats, a medical committee of veterinarians and administrators is constantly checking up on the camels

JEDDAH: The third edition of the King Abdul Aziz Camel Festival is underway until March 20, organized by the Saudi Camel Club in Al-Sayahid, an area outside Riyadh. 

The festival has been attracting people nationally and internationally, including Omani Ambassador Dr. Ahmed bin Hilal Al-Busaidi and Danish Ambassador Ole Moesby.

The Ministry of Environment, Water and Agriculture has recorded 10,762 camels as participating.

For the first time at the festival, the Original Camel Beauty Contest will be held on Friday. Most of the contestants are from Saudi Arabia (314 out of 472), with 143 from the UAE, six from Kuwait and three from Bahrain. 

A medical committee of nine veterinarians and administrators is constantly checking up on the camels. 

Twenty cases of cheating have been identified, 18 of which involved injecting them to widen their lower lip.

The festival includes the Saudi Camel Village, which has organized the “World of Nomads” event, showcasing the histories and cultures of nomadic peoples from more than 75 countries.

 

Nomadic culture

The “Cinema Stan” hall will screen more than 90 short films highlighting man’s relationship with nature, and mythological figures associated with nomadic culture.

The hall, which seats more than 300 people, will provide Arabic subtitles. Visitors can watch 20 short films every day from 4 p.m. to 10 p.m.

The festival also includes a commercial area, a desert park, and a village center where activities, entertainment, cultural events, traditional food and handicrafts are available. 

The village is receiving large numbers of visitors, welcoming them from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. 

On the sidelines of the festival, the Camel Museum is exhibiting the animal’s history in Islamic and Arab countries.

The museum includes an overview of camel breeds, as well as paintings and drawings made of the animal’s hair

“We’re receiving 4,000-5,000 visitors on weekdays and 7,000-8,000 on weekends, so there are many people coming,” Bandar Al-Rashid, head of media and communication at the festival, told Arab News. “We’re taking measures to ensure that the camels at the festival are the best of their kind.”


King Salman convenes summit of Gulf and Arab states

Updated 19 May 2019
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King Salman convenes summit of Gulf and Arab states

  • Meeting will be held in conjunction with the Islamic Summit

RIYADH: Saudi Arabia's King Salman has called for the convening of two summits of Gulf and Arab states to be held on May 30 in Makkah.

The meeting will be held in conjunction with the upcoming Islamic Summit.

According to a Ministry of Foreign Affairs statement, King Salman has sent an invitation to the leaders of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries and leaders of other Arab countries to two summits to discuss the recent attacks by the Iranian-backed Houthis in the UAE and on Saudi Arabia's oil pipelines and their repercussions on the region. 

“The attack on ships in the territorial waters of the United Arab Emirates and the terrorist-backed Iran-backed Houthi militias’ attack on two oil pumping stations in the Kingdom have serious implications for regional and international peace and security and for the supply and stability of world oil markets,” the foreign ministry said in a statement carried by the Saudi Press Agency.