The National Day Camel Marathon in the UAE, takes place this Saturday, 3 December, at Dubai International Endurance City, Saih Al Salam.
Organized by the Hamdan Bin Mohammed Heritage Center in cooperation with Dubai Camel Racing Club, the Camel Marathon is part of the Center’s efforts to maintain the cultural heritage of the UAE, and for a third consecutive year, will play of part of the National Day celebrations.
Open to UAE citizens above 18 years of age, the 15-mile (24km) marathon is the longest and most arduous camel race in the country’s history but has proved to be a hugely popular event, with the inaugural marathon seeing the participation 72 UAE nationals between the ages of 18 and 50.
Dating back to 7th century, camel racing is one of the oldest sports in the UAE and draws tens of thousands of fans and competitors from all over the region each year.
Souad Ibrahim Darwish, Director of Championships at HHC, said: “Camel racing is one of the most enduring and centuries-old traditional sports in the UAE. Following the success of the inaugural event, we have renamed the race as the National Day Camel Marathon since it coincides with the UAE’s National Day celebrations.
“The National Day Camel Marathon is in line with the Center’s initiatives aimed at safeguarding our intangible cultural heritage and encouraging Emiratis to participate in traditional sports in an atmosphere that exudes a sense of national pride and community spirit. The National Day Camel Marathon occupies pride of place in Fazza Championships annual events calendar and serves as another platform for encouraging the younger generation to take up traditional Emirati sports and keep in touch with their heritage.
“This unique Marathon will also showcase the kindred spirit between man and animal. The National Day Camel Marathon will be conducted in a professional manner under the supervision of Dubai Camel Racing Club with no jockeys used during the challenging and energy sapping 25-kilometre distance. Most of these camels would have trained for nearly three months for this race. Only those who have grown up breeding camels will understand the potential of their charges. We wish the participants best of luck.”
The race starts at 7am. Click here for directions.