Dubai: As many as 14,000 hybrid racing camels from around the world will compete for prize money in excess of Dh150 million, the highest ever for any sports event in the UAE, during the Al Marmoum Heritage Festival 2017.
The 12-day festival starts on Tuesday and culminates in the Grand Finals on April 18, where the prestigious five Golden Swords will be awarded to the winners.
It represents the final camel racing festival of the 2016-2017 season.
The festival, which is the largest heritage event held in the UAE that focuses on racing camels, will showcase 359 races in different categories.
A total of 132 races are exclusively for camels representing shaikhs with a further 227 races allocated for privately owned race camels. In addition to the record prize money, winning owners will receive the keys to a luxury 4 Wheel Drive vehicle. A total of 45 elite prizes of trophies, rifles, spears and daggers, will also be awarded in special categories.
The main objective of the Al Marmoum Heritage Festival is to showcase the great heritage sport and to promotes its educational and recreational values. It also upholds the richness and diversity of the UAE’s traditions, its heritage and its culture.
Organised by the Dubai Camel Racing Club (DCRC), it will be held at the Al Marmoum Smart Camel Racing Track located next to DCRC headquarters on the Al Ain road.
WATCH: Rashid Ali, Press Editor at Dubai Camel Racing Club, tells us what's happening at the Al Marmoum Heritage Festival
Ali Saeed Bin Saroud, General Manager and CEO of DCRC, Abdulla Ahmad Faraj, Manager of Marketing Partnership and Events at DCRC, Esam Al Khameri, Media Center Manager of DCRC, Hassan Abdulla Al Haddad, Administrative Affairs Manager at DCRC, Abdulla Bin Humaidan, Manager of Financial Affairs at DCRC and Abdulla Bin Humaidan Al Falasim, Information Technology Project Manager at DCRC and representatives of strategic partners and other participating entities were also present.
Bin Saroud addressed the press conference, saying: “We are so happy to announce that the region’s biggest camel festival is back.
“The Al Marmoum Heritage Festival is organised to maintain our national heritage in all its forms and to highlight the central role of the Club in the preservation of the cultural traditions of the UAE.
“We see the cultural sports and traditional activities as a means of reviving the customs and practices of our ancestors. Camels were a key means of livelihood for the people of the Arabian Peninsula. We consider it as our mission to help strengthen our national identity and build pride and knowledge about our heritage, especially among our youth,” he added.
“The Festival was organised following the instructions of His Highness Shaikh Mohammad Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai and under the generous patronage of Shaikh Hamdan Bin Mohammad Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Crown Prince of Dubai, Chairman of Dubai Executive Council, and the support of Shaikh Ahmad Bin Mohammad Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, President of the UAE National Olympic Committee, Chairman of Mohammad Bin Rashid Foundation and Chairman of the Dubai Camel Racing Club (DCRC).
“I can assure you that this event will not only entertain but also educate people about this heritage sport that is deep-rooted in the UAE culture and traditions.”
AT A GLANCE
WHAT: AL MARMOUM HERITAGE FESTIVAL 2017
WHEN April 5-18.
TIMING: 7AM TO 10AM AND 2PM TO 5.30PM.
VENUE: AL MARMOUM SMART CAMEL RACING TRACK, DUBAI — AL AIN ROAD — Al Lusaily