Saudi camel
Saudi Arabia is gearing up to host a camel festival next week. Picture for illustrative purposes. Image Credit: Gulf News archives

Cairo: A major camel event in Saudi Arabia is set to kick off next week, drawing owners and fans of camels from across the kingdom and far beyond.

The Crown Prince Camel Festival is due to kick off on July 23 in the Saudi western province of Taif and run for 44 days packed with competitions among participants from several Gulf and foreign countries, Saudi newspaper Ajel reported.

Prizes of over SR56 million, considered the biggest in value in Saudi sports, are up for grabs at the festival, including the Crown Prince Sword SR1 million Prize, the report said. Camels are a popular animal closely linked to heritage in Saudi Arabia.

The animal has long been dubbed as the “ship of the desert”, being the lifeline for desert dwellers.

In recent years, the camel business has remarkably grown in the kingdom.

Saudi Arabia annually hosts the King Abdulaziz Camel Festival, the world’s such biggest pageant.

There are around 1.8 million camels with a market value of over SR50 billion in Saudi Arabia, according to official figures.