he world’s most beautiful camel will be crowned with a staggering $30 million prize at a Saudi pageant-style contest.
More than 300,000 of the desert animals will be judged on their features when they descend on Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, for the King Abdulaziz Camels Festival, which runs till 15th April.
The mammals must abide by a strict set of criteria for ‘untouched natural beauty’ – which advises having curly hair, pert ears, long lashes and a high, perfectly positioned hump.
Festival spokesperson Dr. Talal Al Torifi said: ‘Judges look for untouched natural beauty with prizes awarded throughout the festival. ‘Camels are assessed in five categories, according to breed and colour.’
From the Al Wadah white camel to, the Al Majahateer dark camel and the Al Homor reddish, brown camel, various features considered most beautiful to each breed are closely assessed to determine the deserving winners.
These include the size of the camel’s head, whether the lips cover the teeth, the length of its neck, to the roundness of its hump.
The criteria also covers the size of its eyes, how the long lashes are, how the nose droops, whether the ears stand back, how high the hump is and where the hump sits.
Judged by a committee of selected Bedouin, winning camels have become highly desirable, fetching millions of pounds in price whilst also leading to dramatic increase in prices of camels across the stock market.
As well as parades for the most beautiful camel, the King Abdulaziz Camels Festival also includes entertainment such as poetry, folk songs (shalat), feasts and camel auctions throughout the month long festivities. All aspects of the festival are noted, from entrance of the camel, to conduct of the owner, festive happenings and attendee acceptance.
This annual national festival, which runs from March 19 to April 15, looks to strengthen traditional practices, connecting the new generations to the old as a reflection of Saudi Arabia’s 2030 vision.