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Al Dhafra Festival kicks off in Abu Dhabi

posted on 15/12/2013: 1664 views



Nearly 25,000 camels will participate in the world's only camel beauty contest set to take place during the Al Dhafra Festival's seventh edition, which kicked off on Saturday in the Western Region.

With Dh50 million in prizes to be won during the 15-day event, visitors will witness everything from classic car competitions to horse racing and the Festival's iconic Mazayana, or camel beauty contest.

The Mazayana will take place in 70 laps to accommodate the contest's 1,500 participants and their camels. Last year, the contest hosted participants from the UAE, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Qatar, Oman, Jordan and Yemen during which there were 200 winning camels.

Under the patronage of Shaikh Mohammad bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces, the Festival is taking place in the Western Region's Madinat Zayed until December 28.

Considered by organisers as a celebration of Bedouin life, the Al Dhafra Festival also features a traditional souq with a variety of Emirati handicraft, poetry and photography contests. Youngsters will also have an opportunity to learn about Emirati history at the Children's Village.

Mohammad Khalaf Al Mazroui, chairman of the higher organising committee of the festival said earlier: "Al Dhafra Festival is not just a celebration that repeats itself. It is a solid bridge that memory uses to cross from past to present, inspired by our shining heritage and thriving present. The 7th edition carries a lot of fun and benefit for the lovers of Bedouin life, others who are interested in the revival of the Arab civil heritage and those who desire to explore this heritage and its manifestations in the Emirati future vision.”

For its part, the Abu Dhabi Police has also made preparations to ensure that the Festival runs smoothly. Colonel Ojeil Ali Abdullah Al Junaibi, Director of the Western Region Police Directorate stressed the importance of constructive cooperation between visitors, participants, and police officers that will be present at the Festival.

"The police will work within the framework of the Festival in order to meet their demands, keep them safe, and help them to access the locations they want to visit,” said Al Junaibi. – Gulf News

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