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Camel Racing - All You Need To Know

Camel Racing is a fun-filled race around the world and has become an integral part of the desert and is considered an attractive sports activity.

Surbhi Khera
Last updated: 05.08.2019
Camel Racing | Sports Social Blog

Camel Racing is a fun-filled race around the world and has become an integral part of the desert and is considered an attractive sports activity. 


Camel, the ship of the desert, has been domesticated and, as livestock, they provide food including milk and meat and textiles from their hair. This animal is suited uniquely suited for desert areas and is an important means of transportation for passengers and cargo. Camel riding is something everyone must have experienced in one’s lifetime but Camel Racing sounds more interesting.   


Basically, it is a sports activity in which the participant rides on the camel but there are various versions of the sport as well and it is popular in various countries such as Bahrain, Jordan, Australia, Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Pakistan, etc. Camel Racing is said to be originated before the Islamic period that is in the 7th century CE. The informal races and competition continued in Arabia until the final 3 decades of the 20th century and then later emerged the trend of organizing formal competitions. Camels were now specially raised for the competitions and there were controlled methods of breeding, training and as well as their nutrition. In the United Arab Emirates, special training methods developed which prepared the animals for different competitions.

But it also took a negative path as camels are often controlled by child jockeys, where children were favored as jockeys due to their lightweight and as per sources young children were trafficked from different countries and thus it led to nationwide bans on child labor in UAE and Qatar due to allegations of human rights abuses but in modern camel racing, remote-controlled robotic whips are used to control camels. In Qatar, the child jockeys were banned in 2005.

About Camel Racing

As the name suggests the race is all about Camels, in which people ride and participates in the race. Earlier small children were used to whip the camels but now robotic whips are used. Camels can easily run at the speed of 65km/h in short sprint and they can maintain a speed of 40 km/h for an hour.

There are various rules which are required to be followed:

  • The racer and camel can be disqualified for any behavior that is not allowed.

  • They must have a saddle.

  • Camels must stay on the course and pass all the gates.

  • The person must be above 16 years of age.

Important Events

It has attracted worldwide attention as an international sport as well as it turned out to be a great tourist activity. It is also a part of many fairs and festivals in Rajasthan, India such as Pushkar Fair, Bikaner Camel Festival, etc

  • Pushkar Camel Fair is basically held in the month of October-November which is according to Hindu calendar month of Kartik and it ends on the Kartik Purnima and thus it is also locally called Kartika Mela or Pushkar ka Mela. It is an annual multi-day livestock fair. It is one of the largest camel, horse, and cattle fairs. Apart from Camel racing various events and competitions are held including dance, tug of war, Matka phod etc. Thousands of people gather at the banks of Pushkar Lake where the event takes place and around 200,000 people attended the fair. 

  • Bikaner Camel Fair is an event organized by the Department of Tourism, Art and Culture. It is held yearly in the month of January and is celebrated in the honor of the Camels and is dedicated to them for surviving in the harsh desert conditions. The fair includes performances by camels like camel rides, races, dances etc.

  • The Great Australian Camel Race, an event which held in 1988 to recognize the positive impact the camels had on the development of Australia.

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