Wednesday, 26 March 2008

Camel gala offers Dh35m in prizes

Camel gala offers Dh35m in prizes
By Eman Mohammed, Abu Dhabi Deputy Editor GULF NEWS Published: March 26, 2008, 00:06

Abu Dhabi: A total of Dh35 million prize money is to be given away during the first Mazayin Dhafra Camel Festival being organised in the Western Region next month, said an official.

Ganem Huraiz Al Mazroui, director of the competition, told a press conferenceon Tuesday the winners will get Dh35 million in cash prizes and 100 cars will also be given away.

He said around 2,000 competitors had registered for the competition so far and the number is expected to increase.

A 'camel beauty contest' among other activities will be held during the festival at Zayed City in the Western Region from April 2 to 10.

The festival is being organised by Abu Dhabi Authority for Culture and Heritage (ADACH) and sponsored by General Shaikh Mohammad Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces, as part of ADACH's efforts to promote local folklore through cultural events.

The participating camels are required to be of pure-bred origin and free from any contagious diseases. The camels are to be divided into age groups and owners can participate with more than one camel as long as they can prove ownership.

Mohammad Khalaf Al Mazroui, Director-General of ADACH, and deputy-head of the festival's committee sees the event as a symbol of the significance that camels enjoy in Arab culture.

"We hope that this event will become an annual one so we preserve that part of our heritage," Al Mazroui said.

Praise: 'Part of heritage'

Shaikh Mohammad Bin Butti Al Hamed, Head of the High Committee for the Festival, Representative of the Ruler at the Western Region, praised the status camels held in traditional Arab life.

"Although the camel has always been a companion to the Arab during his travel in the old days, today camels still play a part in our lives, as thousands of people continue to attend camel races and watch what is perceived as part of our heritage."

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