Date: 13 Jan – 14 Jan 2017
Category: Live Entertainment , Community
Ticket price: General admission is free
Audience can enjoy one of Dubai’s quintessential sporting activities – an outing to the camel races! They can be a part of some of the emirate’s most prized camels who will take to the track. This is a great way to get a taste of Emirati heritage and tradition. Races will take place twice daily every Friday and Saturday from December to February.
Camel races take place on an annual basis, mostly during the late October to early April racing season and periodically throughout the year. The races generally take place throughout the winter season or on 5-day races held in the UAE’s larger centers. The UAE has 15 racetracks all across the country with spacious and stadiums for viewers. They are located on city outskirts, with rest tents, connecting roads, electricity, water, telephone lines, equipment for live television and radio broadcasts, a team of doctors, stand-by ambulances, and print transmission capabilities.
Camel racing is supported by the highest levels of UAE society, with former President Zayed owned a personal stable consisting of 14,000 camels and 9,000 workers for their upkeep. At the Nad al Sheba racetrack, the morning races consist primarily of camels owned by sheikhs, whereas the afternoon races are open to all. Sheikhs have been known to buy camels from owners who have won the afternoon races, offering large sums of money to acquire the victorious camel. In last 20 years, camel racing in the UAE gained more structure and prominence through increased interest in the sport and organization. Just in the 1990’s, 12 new tracks were built to meet the rising widespread demand for camel racing.
Presently, there are approximately 14,000 active racing camels in the UAE, which require large numbers of people to maintain them and keep them in top condition. Workers to tend the camels many times come from neighboring states such as Pakistan and Oman since the sport provides both indirect and direct financial support for thousands of people due to its popularity as a national pastime. Many trainers take their camels and race in other countries, such as Qatar, which have extended racing seasons beyond the UAE season.
Photo courtesy: www.dcrc.ae
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