The Camel Sports Federation of Saudi Arabia said that this year’s camel racing festival 2023 in Saudi Arabia will be the biggest festival in the world so far, which will begin on August 1.
This fair held in Taif city will continue for 38 days. Held under the patronage of Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, the event aims to promote camel racing to the world as an integral part of Saudi culture.
At least 600 camel races will be held during this festival, which is a record unmatched in the past.
According to the Saudi Federation, this event is one of the richest events in the world, which was registered in the Guinness World Records four years ago, and this was due to the fact that more than 13 thousand camels participated in the event for the first time in known history. were present for the competition.
The sport of camel racing is centuries old and is still played with enthusiasm in Gulf countries including Saudi Arabia, UAE, Qatar and Oman.
The region of the Arabian Peninsula has been famous for the breeding of camels since ancient times and it is a profession that has not died out with the passage of time and modernization in various countries especially in Saudi Arabia.
Saudi Arabia has recently launched an electronic platform, which aims to preserve records of camel breeds with the help of DNA details and issue identity cards to each camel.
This platform, which consists of a huge database, collects the genetic codes of camels.
This platform has been set up to store the record of camel breeds and organize their family tree and this breed record is given to the camel buyer at the time of sale of any camel. According to the authorities, the aim is to preserve the ancient and rare breeds of camels.
The platform is overseen by the Saudi Camel Club and the King Faisal Research Center from a technical and clinical perspective.
Those in charge of the platform want to introduce a breed documentation system for any camel as a condition of entry and participation in camel racing fairs in Saudi Arabia, where each owner is issued a documentation card with their camel. It will contain the necessary information about the breed of camel and the details of the characteristics of the breed.
The person in charge of this platform believes that the overwhelming response of owners in the process of registering their camels will be the basis for the success of this initiative, which will benefit everyone.
It should be remembered that in the past, small children were used to ride camels in camel racing competitions.
Owners of racing camels preferred lightweight camel riders so that the rider’s weight would not affect the camel’s chances of winning the race.
However, children’s rights organizations raised the issue of using children in camel racing in the UAE and other Gulf countries at the global level, after which it was banned.
International organizations have described how the development of these children is controlled, these children live away from their families and because of the restrictions imposed on them by the camel owners regarding the consumption of food, these children are older. were occurring but without significant physical growth and weight gain.
And this situation eventually led to these children suffering from physical or psychological disabilities in the last stages of their lives.
However, the case came to a halt when cases were filed against many people, including prominent figures from the Gulf region, who were involved in the exploitation of children on charges of child trafficking and slavery.
At present, robots are used instead of children in camel races and they are controlled by remote control.
Many camel fairs and camel races are held in the Gulf region, especially in Saudi Arabia, Oman, Qatar and the United Arab Emirates, with prizes ranging up to millions of riyals.
In one such contest,Camel racing festival 2023 the prize money for the winner was one crore riyals (or US$2.75 million).