Rams Almnhali's camel beat 15 competitors in one of the categories in the festival, winning him a 2011 Lexus 570. Image Credit: Supplied picture

The small town of Al Gayathi in the Western Region of Abu Dhabi drew thousands of people to its camel festival last week to watch the main event - a camel beauty competition.

Because of the animal's cultural significance, the festival attracts people from all over the country. "Camels occupy an important place in our heritage," says Mubarak Al Mansouri, chairman of the organising committee of the Al Ghayathi Camel Festival. Helal Hadef Al Mansouri, general manager of Admission Communications, Abu Dhabi, the festival's media partner agrees, adding, "We organise festivals like these to preserve our culture and foster a sense of belonging among Emiratis.

"Only pure-bred camels qualified for the contest."

Here are some of the things the judges look for:

  • Lips should be hanging down
  • Hump should be large and round
  • Ears should be long and sharp
  • Hooves should be large and round