There was no immediate word about the milky output of the top winners or value of the prizes. Image Credit: SPA

Cairo: A local Saudi festival has staged a contest for the milkiest camels, which are closely linked to the Arabian heritage.

The competition, part of the Sharurah Winter Festival, saw a jury weighing the quantity of the milk produced by each camel in two morning-and evening rounds, according to the panel’s chief Sulaiman Al Suairy.

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“Among the important conditions for participation in the contest are that the camels must be clean and free of diseases,” he was quoted by the Saudi news agency SPA as saying.

The event, he explained, aims at selecting the milkiest camels, specifying the best and most plentiful types of their milk, enhancing folk patrimony, supporting camels owners and enhancing the economic aspect of the festival.

There was no immediate word about the milky output of the top winners or value of the prizes.

The sixth edition of the Sharurah Festival was unveiled on Monday in the governorate of the same name, about 360 kilometres east of Najran in south-western Saudi Arabia.

The festival features, among other things, a camel auction and race.

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.

Last month, the Saudi Arabia designated 2024 as the Year of Camels, taking the shape of diverse programmes to boost national efforts to develop the camel sector.

In recent years, the camel business has remarkably grown in the kingdom. There are around 1.8 million camels with a market value of over SR50 billion in Saudi Arabia, according to official figures.

The kingdom annually hosts the King Abdulaziz Camel Festival, one of the world’s largest in the field.

The pageant has become a major cultural, tourist, entertainment and economic event with its competitions and concomitant activities that attract fans from the region and around the world. The current edition runs until mid-January.