2008-04-04 08:35:40 UTC
Mazayin Dhafra: biggest camel show in history
WESTERN PROVINCE, UAE - The Mazayin Dhafra Camel Festival 2008 kicked
off Wednesday in Abu Dhabi's Western Province, in what is regarded as
the biggest camel show in history.
The event attracted the participation of over 15,000 camels from all
over the Arab Gulf, according to official sources.
The general mood of the camel owners was that of exceptional joy to be
participating in the huge event.
"It is a unique occasion. I saw one camel owner turning down an offer
of seven million UAE dirhams to sell his camel, favouring to take part
in the contest even though the winning prize is less than that
amount," one bewildered spectator told Middle East Online
correspondent at the event.
"It is truly a revival of our forefathers' folklore," he added,
expressing his gratitude to the organizers of the festival and Emarati
officials for facilitating the event.
The contest was monitored by a number of helicopters which were
required to acquire a better view in the vast area of the contest in
the Western Province.
The media coverage of the festival was also notable.
"The media coverage was exceptional. It is rare to see so many
reporters from newspapers, news agencies, terrestrial and satellite
television - both Arab and foreign - to cover an event in the UAE the
way the festival was covered," said a media official at the Abu Dhabi
Authority for Culture and Heritage (ADACH), the organizers of the
"The wide media attraction alone can be considered as a form of
success for the festival," he added.
According to Hamed Salem Bin Kurdous Al Amiri, a member of the
organising committee of the festival, the 35 million dirhams and 100
cars offered in prizes had attracted a large number of contesters from
across the Arab Gulf, prompting Sheikh Mohammed Bin Zayed Al Nahyan,
Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and sponsor of the festival, to make the
event an annual one.
Members of the organising committee of the festival, Al Amiri
maintained, are in constant contact with participants in the field to
take note of their requirements and views.
Al Amiri added that a special care was taken in selecting the
contest's judging panel, who were appointed in total confidentiality
after meeting the right criteria, noting that members of panel were
deliberately chosen from different nationalities and origins and that
they enjoyed much respect in their field.
The event not only revives interest in the region's folklore but also
promotes commercial gain in camel trade, noted Khaled Bin Tnaf Al
Munhali, Sheikh of Al Munaheel tribe, who expressed his gratitude to
the organisers of the event and UAE officials.
The Mazayin Dhafra Camel Festival continues until the 10th April.