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.
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.”