Camel Racing In The UAE

on January 16, 2014

 There are three main recreational activities that pre-occupy the local people and these being Horse racing, falcon racing and Camel racing. originally the camel jockeys were young children but the injuries (and deaths) caused became socially unacceptable and now the use of robotic jockeys is commonplace and widely adopted with few exceptions. 

While betting may be against the muslim culture, competitiveness is not and if there is one thing the arab people are and that is competitive. The racing of horses, camels and now falcons has become major sporting events here in the UAE and millions of dollars is spent on them in both infrastructure and hoisting as well as prize money. A little known fact is that Camel racing has overtaken the horse racing events in terms of prize money given out and over 300 million dirhams is paid out in various races and events each year. 

Camel racing is very fascinating to watch and they usually have quite a large track to run and like horses, not all camels are build the same. These camels are bred for the desired genetics and have a rigorous cardio training program. The life cycle of a racing camel is usually only a few years and buy the time they reach 6 or 7 it is time to retire them. Camel breeding has since become a big money investment and they use them for more than just racing. Milk, fur and meat are some of the various product that come from raising camels.   









In the desert you can often see camels roaming and grazing and they all belong to someone. They keep close tabs on them but often they can range deeper in the desert particularly at calving time. Otherwise they mostly hang around the food source and since the farmers feed them they are closer to home.     

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