Date: 8 Oct 21 – 22 Jan 22
Category: Family, Community, Culture
Admission: Open for all
Get ready to enjoy the sights of the beautiful well-bred, charming camels. The camels are set to participate in a mega competition in the UAE later this year. The Al Dhafra festival, which has been called the greatest Bedouin showcase in the world, is set to be bigger and better this year with a total of Dhs 110 million available in prizes across 2,937 categories – including camel beauty.
Camel beauty contests will be held in Sweihan, Razeen, and Madinat Zayed (Liwa) and also at the festival site. The festival promotes Bedouin and UAE cultural heritage and encourages participation in local traditions. The Al Dhafra Festival is all set to begin Friday October 8 and will continue until Saturday, January 22. So plan other attractions to witness the fun. The festival is held near Madinat Zayed, the largest town in the Liwa Oasis, which is located deep in Al Dhafra’s desert.
The true essence of Bedouin life, right from camel beauty contests to handicraft workshops in the heart of the Empty Quarter. The Al Dhafra Festival presents the animal husbandry, culture, and community that has defined Bedouin life for generations.
When it comes to camels though, look no further than the Al Dhafra Festival. The UAE takes pride in its rich heritage and hosts annual festivals to celebrate its vibrant culture. At Al Dhafra Festival in Abu Dhabi, visitors can get a glimpse of Emirati culture and traditional activities such as animal husbandry, falconry, and horse races. Al Dhafra Festival attracts a large number of people each year, this is an annual event that aims to celebrate and preserve the heritage of the UAE. The festival features traditional handicrafts, falconry contests, saluki races, Arabian horseracing, and a traditional souk along with attractions and competitions.
Al Dhafra Festival is held in the Western or Al Gharbia region of Abu Dhabi, near Madinat Zayed. If you’re driving from Abu Dhabi City, it will take approximately two hours to reach the festival venue. Visitors from Dubai can travel, it is a three hours journey. The main E11 highway is the best route, from where visitors from Dubai can take E45 into the desert towards the festival site.
Visiting the Al Dhafra Festival in Abu Dhabi is a cultural experience. An event such as Mazayna or Camel Beauty Contest includes camels from Asayel (pedigree) and Majaheem (dark camels). These camels are judged based on several factors such as their head and neck, length, shape, hump, physical health, and the shine of their hair! Camel takes a lap to be judged by experts, who then announce the winner that takes home a big cash prize. competition at the festival. Please note that the traditional souk will not return at this year’s festival.
If you’re driving to the festival from other emirates, ensure you’re aware of the latest Abu Dhabi travel restrictions. These movement restrictions against the COVID-19 pandemic are announced by The Abu Dhabi Emergency Crisis and Disasters Committee.
For more information please visit https://www.abudhabiculture.ae/en/experience/heritage-festivals/al-dhafra-festival/