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Natural UAE

CLICK FOR SECTION MAP Camel grazing

Camel grazing remains an important economic activity in desert areas, with bedu families maintaining herds throughout the sands west of the Hajar mountains, predominantly in Abu Dhabi emirate. Camel milk is highly valued, with the succulent meat of young camels being cooked and served on special occasions. This animal only rarely acts as a beast of burden or as a means of transport in the modern era.

The desert depicted shows the sparse terrain over which camels are obliged to graze. The cumulus clouds are a rare sight and seldom lead to significant rainfall. Supplementary fodder is in any case usually provided and the tradition of nomadism is not now routinely practiced. Also visible in the photograph is the strapping used to prevent weaned animals from continuing to suckle, allowing instead the owner to enjoy the valuable milk. Any visitor is invariably treated to a bowlful of still warm camel's milk too.

There is, not surprisingly, little evidence of archaeological use of these areas and only transient camps appear ever to have been established. Ancient hearths are occasionally discovered, sometimes with associated artefacts, stone tools among them, including some from the Late Stone Age, although flint was used until recent times to strike sparks to light campfires.

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