JEDDAH: Thousands of visitors from throughout the world are expected to attend a prestigious Saudi camel festival which on Wednesday got underway near the capital Riyadh.
Under the patronage of King Salman, the third King Abdul Aziz Camel Festival organized by the country’s Camel Club, will run until March 20 in the southern Sayahid district of Al-Dahnaa.
Camel Club Chairman Fahd bin Falah bin Hithlin thanked King Salman and Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman for supporting the annual celebration of Saudi culture and heritage.
The festival, being staged on the road between Al-Rumahiyah and Al-Hafna, has revitalized tourism in the desert area which formed part of traditional trade routes across the Arabian Peninsula.
The southern Sayahid district is also of national historical significance, having been the gathering point for the armies of the Kingdom’s founder Abdul Aziz, as well as an important resting point for Hajj and trade caravans.
Camel owners and visitors from Arabian Gulf countries and around the globe, will flock to the sprawling festival site over the coming weeks for what has already become a highly popular fixture on the Kingdom’s events calendar.
The festival will put the spotlight on Saudi Arabia’s cultural heritage, with camels having played an important part in Arab life down the ages.
Businesses involved in the manufacture and supply of camel-related products will also be in attendance, and auctions will take place throughout the gathering. Six categories of camels, Majahim, Wadh, Shaal, Sifr, Shaqah and Homr, will participate in the Mazayen beauty contest.
The giant festival site is split into various sections including a commercial area, desert park, and village center where activities, entertainment, cultural events, traditional foods and handicrafts will be available.