//Camel racing, the national sport of Dubai
Camel Racing

Camel racing, the national sport of Dubai

Camels are a symbol of desert areas, as this is the ideal environment for these creatures. This is because the reservoirs of water in your body are able to travel vast distances without ingesting water. This is why in some countries with deserts and tradition of camels, the famous events of camel racing are held.

Camels also represent a symbol in the United Arab Emirates, as camel racing specifically in Dubai.

As well as horses, camels have had a relevant role providing company and as a means of transportation for people who live in desert areas.

This animal has great relevance in Dubai since it is the protagonist of national sport in the region.

The One MILLION Dollar Camel Race! | Wild Arabia | BBC Earth

A little about these amazing animals: The Camels

Camelus or Camels are a genus of artiodactyl mammals in the family Camelidae.

These include the three living species of the family originating from the Old World. Among the species we can mention the following: Camelus ferus, Camelus bactrianus both with two humps and Camelus dromedarius or dromedary, with only one hump.

The hump of the camels protrudes approximately 75 cm. This part of the animal is a fat deposit.

This mammal is capable of consuming 200 liters of water in a single intake. But with this it should be noted that this animal can last several days without drinking water.

Camels have two layers of thick lashes to protect their eyes from the sand.

These mammals have the ability to eat prickly branches without hurting their mouth.

Camels can run 65 kilometers per hour on short races. Similarly they can maintain a speed of 40 kilometers per hour.

The life expectancy of the camel varies between 40 and 50 years.


Camel racing in various countries of the world

Camel racing is a sport in which competitors perform  a race that they must complete riding on camels.

This famous event takes place in various countries such as: Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Qatar, the United Arab Emirates, Australia and Mongolia.

Camel racing, like horse racing, are competitions where you bet and it is also a tourist attraction.

Camels are often ridden by jockey boys. However, the United Arab Emirates and Qatar have banned chores by children, this is due to the controversy that was generated at some point.

Today camels in Dubai and Qatar are driven by robots that act as rider

In Australia a large camel race is regularly organized in Alice Springs. Camel racing in Australia is a curiosity and in this country if bets can be placed.

The race is held every year, and together with the race fairs and an open-air market are organized.

Camel racing. Dubai National Sport
Camel racing. Dubai National Sport

Dubai camel racing

Camel racing in Dubai is very popular and they are also known as “the sport of sheikhs”. This is an activity indigenous to Dubai.

Camel racing is a very unique event since these animals are capable of reaching 65 kilometers per hour.

It should be noted that these animals are not ridden by any rider. Now it is a novelty since they are led by aluminum robots

These robots direct the steps of the camels and also beat them with a whip if they consider that they are not keeping the rhythm that they should.

The robots that hold the camel’s reins in these traditional competitions have a head and a thorax with two small arms.

The arms fulfill the function of carrying the whip and the other the reins.

On the other hand, they have a gps that transmits the speed and pulsations of the animal.

Camel Racing and robotics jockeys
Camel Racing and robotics jockeys

Characteristics and singularities of camel racing

Camel racing in Dubai have the following characteristics:

  • These robots are designed to tolerate the rough movements of animals.
  • It should be noted that those who control these robots are the owners of the camels. To do this, vehicles are positioned in their vehicles to control these robots.
  • In addition to the prompts, they also dedicate words of encouragement to the animals to motivate them in this strong competition.
  • The distance of the race varies between four and ten kilometers, and up to 70 camels can come into play.
  • To attend this show it is advisable to use binoculars, which will allow you not to lose detail of everything that happens on the track.
  • Admission is free and you can go with casual clothes, but photography cameras are totally prohibited in this place, as well as betting.
  • The ideal month to enjoy the most important events of camel racing is April, because here the animals that have performed best throughout the season.

These races are usually 4 to 10 kilometers. Although bets in the United Arab Emirates are prohibited, in other countries betting is one of the elements that accompany the races.

Even though gambling is prohibited, some risk breaking the law in Dubai and are heavily punished. That is why we advise you to follow the strict rules of the emirate and respect its culture.

Robotic riders are also part of horse racing in Dubai but elsewhere they continue to be performed with human riders.

Dubai: Camels and Races
Dubai: Camels and Races

A show

In Dubai, camel racing starts first thing in the morning, around 07:00 AM and ends around 08:30 AM.

It is a real show where camels are the protagonists of such a feat.

Therefore, it is a pleasure to watch the camels run along the track at high speed.

These animals make an incredible noise when passing in front. It should be noted that these animals are handled with a robot.

Camels are followed by cars, parallel to the race track of camel racing.

For this reason, from the cars using a mobile device, the guards give little lashes to make them run faster.

Camel racing includes the number ranging from 15 to 70 camels or more.

Camel Racing
Camel Racing

From camels to drones

Camel racing is a popular tradition of the past, but Dubai is adept at advancing into the future.

The first World Drone Prix, the world’s largest drone race, was held in spring 2016.

32 pilots participated in the event. Their mission was to steer their mini aircraft through terrain full of obstacles and traps.

A million dollars awaited the winners of this competition. The fourth part of this award was received by the first pilot to make his drone reach the goal.

World Drone Prix 2016 Dubai - Final Race

Horse racing in Dubai: Tradition, innovation and future hand in hand.

Camel racing is one of these traditions that remains intact in Dubai. In turn, there are other countries with desert areas that also practice these activities with camels.

These traditions coupled with the prohibition of the use of children as riders in racing and the introduction of robotic riders are a sign that tradition can be combined with modernity. Definitely a symbol of what Dubai means.

Gustavo Mirabal Castro and his wife Carolina Chapellín have enjoyed this popular Dubai tradition. In this way they are entering and enjoying the Arab culture as well as its traditions.





If you want to know more about Gustavo Mirabal, Dubai or United Arab Emirates , go to: