A beauty contest where losers get the hump

Now then camels, form an orderly queue… and no sniggering at the back!

Being hot for 365 days of the year can take its toll, which is perhaps partly why every so often you’ll find some light hearted entertainment purely for the amusement of the locals. Or at least that’s what you might think.

But wait, this is a serious event in the Middle East and one not to be scoffed at (if you’ll excuse the pun). This annual festival is an important date and a celebration of an integral part of Dubai’s heritage – namely, the camel.

The Al Dhafra Camel Festival (17th-28th December 2012), held at Madinat Zayed, has something for everyone; there are dedicated special shows for ‘Asayel’ (pedigree) and ‘Majahim’ (dark-skinned) camels, as well as the well-known and rare ‘camel beauty contest’. Smile for the cameras!

I’m not quite sure how they go about judging the award ceremony, thats perhaps an area for them to decide and visitors to just go with the flow and not ask too many questions!

The festival will also feature a traditional souq and during the week long affair there will be a camel auction and various contests for traditional handicrafts, poetry, date packaging and photography.

And I suppose the winning camel will be able to boast the best lips in the desert!

Carole Booth is Commercial Director at Destinology.

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