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Camel Racing In The UAE

Camel racing in the United Arab Emirates is a huge part of the country's culture. From the extremely wealthy to the rural people, camel racing seems to be enjoyed by most people throughout the country, regardless of class. Nowadays, camel racing is known worldwide, attracting visitors from all parts of the globe. Camel racing offers its guests an authentic experience into this old Emirati tradition. Often large crowds flock to the race grounds. It gives international guests a chance to mingle with lots of locals, other tourists, expats and maybe even some royals!

A Brief History Of Camel Racing

Camel Racing originated in North Africa, the Middle East and Arabian Peninsula. However nowadays it can be found in many countries including Australia, Pakistan, North Africa, Jordan, Qatar and many more. Camels have always proved important in many of these regions. Often being referred to as ‘’ships of the desert’’ because of the extremely heavy loads they manage to carry through the deserts. Some breeds can actually carry two hundred kilograms of baggage. They do this while travelling at four kilometers per hour in the extreme heat a desert has to offer. It is possible for camels to go without drinking any water for up to three weeks in these intense conditions.

Camel owners would often make a deal that they would swap transport of goods or people for food, water and shelter. For a very long time, life in the desert seemed to go unchanged. Camels remained vital for the UAE’s economy. However since the UAE’s oil boom, many areas throughout the region changed and many traditions were lost. Even though the camel will always be a symbol of significance in the UAE, camels are not used as frequently as before. They have been replaced by technology and vehicles which have proven to be more practical than the camel. Many in the region feel it's important to keep on to their traditions and not get too caught up in such a fast moving country. You’ll find many areas holding celebrations and festivals to keep the camel a major symbol of the UAE’s history. To help keep the sport and culture alive, race winners were often awarded large sums of cash. Today, camel racing is one of those celebrations which many people adore.

Is Camel Racing Dangerous?

Racing camels are big animals, with some weighing up to 450kg. Although camels are not as fast as race horses, many can reach speeds of up to 50 kilometers per hour. Many jockeys have been seriously injured or even killed while riding camels. Often many child jockeys come away with horrible injuries. At many races camel owners use trained child jockeys. Because children weigh less than adults, it allows the camels to pick up speeds faster. It is not uncommon for a child jockey to do serious damage to their genitals while racing camels. However, innovators have managed to come up with a solution to this ongoing issue. They have designed robots that are placed on the hump of the camel to replace these children and adult jockeys. These two foot high robot jockeys were designed in Switzerland and now frequently race in the UAE.

Is It Possible To Gamble In The UAE?

Locals and tourist in the United Arab Emirates most be aware that Islam is the countries official religion. In Islam, gambling is prohibited. Muslim’s believe that gambling is both immoral and harmful to those who take part. This includes any form or gambling, gaming and advertising any subject related with gambling. This also includes any form of online gambling to residents, even if they are outside the country. Strict penalties are put in place for anyone who doesn’t obey the laws throughout the country. Although you are still able to place bets on camel racing from outside the UAE if you're not a resident. Not only can you bet on slots these days but camel racing too outside the UAE!

Is The Law In Dubai The Same?

Dubai, possibly the UAE’s most popular and well known destination amongst tourists. Famous for its shopping, cuisine, incredible hotels and booming economy. It attracts people from all around the globe, many of which come for business. Its goal is to become the main business hub in Western Asia. With many high end hotels and fine dining, regularly tourists come here requesting to gamble. Unfortunately for those guests, the same law runs throughout the country and Dubai is no exception.

However, even with these strict laws in place, certain activities have been allowed people to take part in some form of gambling. Don’t expect to find a traditional land based casino like you would on the world famous Las Vegas Strip. Gambling sometimes is played in cruise ships around Dubai, with live gambling, game tables and online gambling allowed with sites like wildspins offering users to play slots online. Some sports betting is actually allowed in the country, like horse and camel racing. As sports is linked with the entertainment industry in Dubai, you can find 4 stadiums that welcome guests.

Where Can I Go To Watch Camel Racing In Dubai?

In the Dubai desert you will find one of the country’s biggest race tracks, the Al Marmoom Camel Race Track. It is situated next to Al Marmoom Heritage Village and the Al Lisaili area. It is approximately 40 kilometres south of Dubai, approximately 30 minutes in a taxi. The track is open to tourists and offers a great opportunity for you to indulge in some of Dubai’s incredible culture. Races usually get underway early in the morning to avoid the extreme heat Dubai tends to get. From the stand you can take in all the adrenaline of this unique race. The race often consists of 60 camels, followed by their trainers in large pickup trucks cheering on their beloved camel. The excitement at this event can be amazing. You might find bringing a pair of binoculars might come in handy. Also, a spare change of clothes might prove useful as the heat can pick up throughout the morning. Entry is free for all guests and the track opens at 6.30AM and closes at 2.30PM.

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