The camel race was included on the UNESCO Intangible Heritage List, the organization said. “Camel racing, social practices and festive heritage associated with camels have just been inscribed on the list of intangible Heritage,” UNESCO said in a statement.
The application for inclusion on the UNESCO Intangible Cultural Heritage List was submitted by Oman and the United Arab Emirates. Camel racing is a popular sport in the Arabian monarchies of the Persian Gulf. Preparation of camels for the race consists of several stages, they are selected by type, origin and age. The competitions themselves are held on specially prepared racetracks.
Camels – graceful ships of the desert – are an integral part of life in the UAE. This national sport is very popular, both among locals and tourists. The racing season lasts from October to April. Competitions are usually held early in the morning on Fridays and Saturdays.
For example, there are several racetracks in Dubai, but the largest of them, Al Marmoom Camel Racetrack, is located half an hour from Dubai. Camel owners come here not only from the UAE, but also from neighboring countries.
In recent years, this sport has been modernized, but it has not lost its traditions. One of the innovations appeared in 2002: instead of jockeys, robots are used, which an operator remotely controls from an off-roader moving along a running track.
In order to speed up the camels, the driver continuously gives a loud buzzer. The amount of cash prizes for winning the competition reaches tens of thousands of dirhams. Special prizes, such as luxury cars, can also be awarded at large races.