The 1st Camel Marathon in the UAE, organised by the Hamdan Bin Mohammed Heritage Center (HHC) in cooperation with Dubai Camel Racing Club, will take place on Thursday (3rd December 2015) in Dubai International Endurance City, Saih Al Salam – Dubai.
The marathon, organised as part of the Center’s wide-ranging efforts to safeguard the intangible cultural heritage of the UAE, will be held on the sidelines of the ongoing 44th National Day celebrations.
Open to all UAE citizens above 18 years of age, the marathon will kick off at 10 am on Wednesday.
Since the marathon was first announced at a press conference held nearly two months ago, more than 150 contestants have registered for the event.
Souad Ibrahim Darwish, Director of Championships at HHC, stated that arrangements are in place to accommodate up to 1,000 participants.
She said, “Camel racing is one of the most important traditional sports in the UAE and it’s great to see that the inaugural Camel Marathon has received such an overwhelming response from Emiratis across the country.
"The race is held over a very long distance, with the race track extending approximately 50 km in length, hence we would advise contestants to make sure they spend enough time and effort in training their camels as well as in familiarising themselves with the race track and climatic conditions.
“The launch of this marathon is in line with the Center’s multi-faceted initiatives aimed at safeguarding our intangible cultural heritage and encouraging Emiratis to participate in traditional sports in a friendly atmosphere that exudes a sense of national pride and community spirit,” Souad Ibrahim Darwish added.
This is the first time ever that a camel marathon is being hosted in the UAE, and Hamdan Bin Mohammed Heritage Center – who is organising the event in cooperation with the Dubai Camel Racing Club – has stated that it is looking to add the event to its annual championships calendar.
Out of its keenness to broaden the base of participation and allow as many promising talents as possible to take part in the marathon, HHC has opened the door for UAE citizens above 18 years of age who are proficient at camel riding to participate in the marathon without imposing a cap on the number of participants.
Valuable prizes will be awarded to each of the top 50 winners of the marathon, including cash prizes to winners of the 4th – 50th positions and luxury vehicles to winners of the first three places.