Camel Racing UAE: Dubai Royal Camel Race Club Captures the Thrill in Photos

Eslam Mobarak
Published 1 month ago on 24 May, 2024-226 views
Camel Racing UAE at Dubai Royal Camel Race Club

Camel Racing UAE is a valued possession for Arabs. They are proud of the quantity of camels they own. Camels were pricey and used for wool, food, and transportation. Traditionally, the Agals (the black ring worn by Arabs on their headdresses) were made of camel wool. Look at the volumes of poems they wrote about camels to comprehend Arabs’ fondness for them. When Arabs were particularly fond of something, it was natural for them to demonstrate their enthusiasm. Poetry was in their blood. They addressed their camels in the same way that they addressed each other.

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Camel Racing UAE

Although technology has taken over most of Dubai, camels are still famous among residents. This is evidenced by the numerous camel farms spread across the country. Camels are no longer seen in metropolitan Dubai except as tourist attractions. They are most commonly spotted on farms on the outskirts of the city. However, some Bedouin families continue to own camels today.

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Camels Racing UAE and Arab Heritage

Camels Racing UAE Arab Heritage
Camels Racing UAE Arab Heritage

A few decades ago, Dubai was only a fishing and pearling hamlet beside the creek. Life was hard in this arid desert. They raised sheep and goats for food and wool, which was necessary during the winter. They hunted with falcons and fought on horseback. Most importantly, one animal became a crucial part of their everyday existence. Without these monsters, it would have been impossible to exist in the desert. I’m referring to the camel, the ship of the desert.

There are two main hypotheses about why they are known as the “ship of the desert.” One theory proposes that it was due to how they walked, swaying side to side like a ship on a stormy sea. The other hypothesis states that it was due to these creatures’ extraordinary ability to travel the desert while carrying so much weight.

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Camel Racing UAE in Dubai

Camel Racing UAE in Dubai
Camel Racing UAE in Dubai

Camel racing is about finding beauty in the chaos. Camel races used to be held at weddings and other occasions. However, the previous century saw a technological surge in the Emirates and surrounding areas. The rulers of Dubai took note of the camel racing culture as it faded away with the advent of technology. They worked to revive this aspect of Arab history. Today, the camel race is one of the wealthiest in the world. Hundreds of camels compete in a regular championship. And the owner of the winning camel receives a reasonable sum of money.

Dubai camel racing is more than just a venue for Emiratis. Camel owners from neighbouring nations, such as Oman and Saudi Arabia, compete in this sporting event. Aside from that, these races are popular among visitors to Dubai. The camel racing season lasts from October to April and lasts throughout the winter months. Other lesser races will occur throughout the year, even during the off-season. On Fridays and Saturdays, races start early in the morning.

Bring binoculars to the race. Otherwise, you can watch the camels race on the large screens in the grandstands. Recently, they began running buses for tourists that travel alongside the race track with other cars for a better viewing experience. This trend will continue in the following years. The camel races in Dubai are free, but there will be a tremendous turnout. To schedule your slots, you must phone a few days in advance. Arrive early on race day to ensure your place. You can snap photos with the race camels if you arrive early enough. Camel races, in contrast to horse races, are more relaxed. Camel races provide an opportunity to learn about Dubai’s history and culture.

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Camel Racing Kids Robot Jockeys

Camel Racing Kids Robot Jockeys
Camel Racing Kids Robot Jockeys

The application of technology has updated the traditional sport of camel racing. In 2001, the UAE prohibited youngsters from racing camels. At the same time, the world witnessed the rise of robot jockeys. Before the robots, kid jockeys rode racing camels. Robots, therefore, are a safer option than human jockeys. Humans are considerably heavier, which slows down the camel.

Robots are composed of lightweight metals such as aluminium. Nowadays, a typical robot jockey weighs around 27 kilograms; the lighter the weight, the faster the camel. The robots also include valuable functions such as GPS, which tracks the camel’s pace and location, and a heart rate sensor to monitor its health.

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Al Marmoum Camel Racing in UAE

Al Marmoum Camel Racing in UAE
Al Marmoum Camel Racing in UAE

There are several camel racing tracks in Dubai, the largest being the Al Marmoum camel racing track at the Dubai Camel Racing Club. It is located in the Al Lisaili neighbourhood of Dubai, near the Al Marmoum heritage town, about a half-hour drive from the city centre. Camel races are held as part of the annual heritage festivals. The yearly championship at Al Marmoum is Dubai’s most renowned camel racing. The winning team receives luxury cars, an 80-million-dirham award, and trophies in this race. Furthermore, they will be charged exorbitant prices for their camels, typically purchased from the royal family.

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UAE Camel Race Day

UAE Camel Race Day
UAE Camel Race Day

Commotions begin early on race day. Typically, there will be two racing sessions: one in the early morning between 7 and 9 a.m. and another after 2 p.m. A single race will have anything between 15 and 60 camels. They will be dressed in bright colours to make themselves more visible from a distance. There is a sense of exhilaration around. The race camels must be warmed up before the race. So, approximately an hour before the race, the camels are taken for a short dash to ensure they aren’t weary.

Camels, like horses, are lined up behind gates at the starting line. When the whistle blows, all the doors fly open. The trainers, wearing helmets and chest protectors, unlock the gates. The camels emerge when they open the gates, and the jockeys instantly clear the way. Camel owners and trainers follow in SUVs. A media crew will be in their automobiles, televising the entire race. The trainer will use a remote to control the robot jockey.

As he presses the remote, the robot whips the camels, causing them to flee faster. The owners can also be seen instructing the camel over loudspeakers. The camel race is ten miles long. Initially, all of the camels run neck and neck. However, they will become increasingly scarce as they reach the finish line (marked by a red post). The race lasts 10 to 15 minutes. As the camels pass the finish line individually, you can hear the audience cheer and chant.

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Camel Hospitals & Camel Laboratory

Camel Hospitals and Camel Laboratory 1
Camel Hospitals and Camel Laboratory 1

The Al Marmoum race track serves as Dubai’s primary care facility for race camels. The camel laboratory examines camels to improve their endurance and resistance. It uses selective breeding and cloning to create genetically altered camels that are stronger and quicker, adhering to the Emirates Camel Racing Federation’s rigorous requirements. Before each primary race, laboratory testing is conducted on camels to detect malpractices like doping.

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UAE Race Camels

Most camels in the Arabian Peninsula and northern Africa are dromedary camels. These camels have only one hump, are taller, and can withstand intense temperatures. Bactrian camels are two-humped and can be found in Central Asian locations. Races are only held with dromedaries, and female camels are in high demand. In the UAE, only four kinds of camels are utilised as racing camels: the native Mahaliyat, the Sudanese Sudaniyat, the Omaniyat from Oman, and the interbred Muhajanat.

In short sprints, race camels may reach up to 65 kilometres per hour and maintain a sustained speed of 40 kilometres per hour. Camels chosen for racing begin training as young as two years old. It is against the regulations to race camels younger than that since their bones and muscles are not fully matured. However, the authorities do not record each camel’s age. Instead, the camel’s age is assessed by the size of its teeth. Special sprays identify camels that have been licensed for racing. Those lacking this mark are not permitted to race.

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UAE Camel Sports & Major Camel Racing Tracks

Camel Sports Major Camel Racing Tracks
Camel Sports Major Camel Racing Tracks

There are a few spots in Dubai where you can practice camel sports. Camel polo can be played at the Dubai Polo and Equestrian Club. Although there are several camel racing tracks in the country (approximately 15), here are three major ones:

  • Al Marmoum.
  • AL Wathba in Abu Dhabi.
  • Al Sawan in Ras Al Khaimah.

There are two major camel racing competitions in Dubai:

  • Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Camel Race Festival.
  • Al Marmoum Heritage Festival.

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Dubai Royal Camel Racing Club

Dubai Royal Camel Racing Club
Dubai Royal Camel Racing Club

The Dubai Royal Camel Racing Club promotes the traditional sport of camel racing, attracting locals and foreigners. The racing club, located half an hour from the city, attracts camel owners from all across the UAE and neighbouring nations. Come early to pet the camels and take photos before they compete. It is home to the city’s most notable track, Al Marmoom Camel Race Track, a hub of activity during the winter racing season.

The racing season spans from October to April, with all the action occurring in the early mornings on Fridays and Saturdays. Although the races begin early, from 7 a.m. until 9 a.m., it is worthwhile to witness this unique sport firsthand. You’ll notice a lot of tourists heading to Al Marmoom, which has swiftly become a valuable resource for Arabian culture and tradition. Changes have been made to modernise the sport while preserving its historic roots.

For example, robot jockeys were introduced in 2002—these are expertly controlled by trained operators driving alongside the track in SUVs. Today’s races offer giveaways that run into thousands of dirhams, while special prizes such as luxury cars may also be presented to winners of mega race meets. The excitement is contagious and something you must see and believe. Bring a pair of binoculars if you don’t want to miss a moment of the action.

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Where can I watch the camel race in Dubai?

Though Dubai has numerous smaller, locally owned race tracks, the most fantastic spot to watch races is the Al Marmoum racetrack, the largest in the Emirates and the most popular in the country. Al Marmoum is about 30 minutes from central Dubai.

What time are the camel races in Dubai?

Although most races begin relatively early – between 6 and 9 a.m. – attending this unique sport is well worth your time. Many will visit Al Marmoom to attend this must-see event exhibiting Arabian culture and tradition.

What is camel racing in the UAE?

Camel racing is the sport of racing camels at high speeds along a predetermined course with a rider on top. The sport is typically limited to running the dromedary, which derives its name from the Greek word dramein, “to run,” rather than the Bactrian camel.

Is camel racing allowed in Dubai?

There are several camel racing tracks in Dubai, the largest of which is the Al Marmoum camel racing track at the Dubai Camel Racing Club. It is located in the Al Lisaili neighbourhood of Dubai, near the Al Marmoum heritage town, about a half-hour drive from the city centre. Camel races are held as part of the annual heritage festivals.

Camel Racing UAE, particularly Dubai’s most prestigious camel race, is a spectacle of tradition and technology. The Al Marmoom Camel Race Track, home to the Dubai Royal Camel Racing Club, has seen the evolution of camel racing from its humble beginnings to its current high-tech state. The United Arab Emirates has successfully preserved this cultural heritage while adapting to modern times, replacing child jockeys with robotic ones. This blend of tradition and innovation makes camel racing a unique and thrilling experience.

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