No fancy dresses, no expensive high-heels, no lighted runway. A beauty pageant in the desert for camels! The fifth Al Dhafra Camel Festival kicked off in the United Arab Emirates.
I apologize to anyone who reads this blog that I have been unable to keep it up lately. My mother is in town visiting, so we have been busy being tourists. It’s been really fun, and I have so much to share…soon!
So, tomorrow is the Camel Beauty Pageant! Many of you know how excited I am for this annual event. I think after I have seen this, I could leave Abu Dhabi–I am that excited for it. It is at the top of my list of things to do here for some unknown reason. It just seems so foreign to me. I am insatiable when it comes to the exotic and peculiar.
For two weeks, over 15,000 hopeful camel beauty queens have converged on a remote, desert area of southwest of Abu Dhabi, called Al Dhafra, to compete for fame and fortune. Most will be eliminated in the early laps, and only a select few can go onto to win “Best in Show.” Who knew camel beauty pageants were like dog shows?!
Look at the legs on these beauties.
You might wonder what might these aspiring camels be judged upon. Judges and organizers of the annual affair outlined the qualities they look for in a crown-worthy camel: big eyes, long lashes, full lips, and a long neck – possibly 30 to 40 inches. Yes, it sounds more like Angelina Jolie than a camel up until the 30-40 inch neck part, right? These camel beauties’ owners travel from all over the region to compete, and it should be very interesting.
For those not as interested in camels as me (like everyone else in my family), there are also camel and saluki dog races, falconry, a camel milking competition, a date competition, a traditional souq (market) and local handicrafts. I will take lots of photos and report back.
The Queen of all Camels