View Full Version : " Miss Arabia Beauty Pagant Flooded With Supermodels "

02-10-2010, 08:30 PM
How Do You Judge a Camel Beauty Contest?

They're tall, they're blonde, they're elegant, and at the height of their careers they can command millions of dollars. Supermodels? No, camels.

In the remote Western Region of the United Arab Emirates, 28,000 of the humped beasts gathered at the end of January for what was billed as the biggest camel beauty contest ever.

Normally, there's nothing there but sand, but the al-Dhafra Festival filled the arid desert with breeders and their herds, some of which had been driven from as far as Qatar, Saudi Arabia and Bahrain.

The pens bustled with activity. Thousands of people from around The Gulf watched the action from the stands. A handful of judges sifted through the camel pens picking out the top talent.

"The head is the most important thing and this is what we look at first," Mohammed Abdullah al-Mehairi, the head judge, told the BBC.

"We are looking for camels with big heads, firm ears, broad cheeks and big whiskers. There is no single important thing - the neck and body should be long, the hump and the back should be big, and we also look at the colour and posture of the camel."

Bedouin tradition

Camels of different ages and types competed in 48 different categories - winning a total of $10m - during the 10-day festival, which ended on Monday.

"The most important competition is the al-Bayraq lap where breeders put forward their best 50 camels and parade them around the track," Mr al-Mehairi explained.