Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

In Saudi Arabia's 'Miss Camel' Pageant Dromadaries Compete for $31 Million in Prizes

Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

In Saudi Arabia's 'Miss Camel' Pageant Dromadaries Compete for $31 Million in Prizes

Article excerpt

The tall, elegant competitors in the beauty pageant have drawn thousands of spectators from around the world, all gathered to gaze at their "untouched natural beauty."

The models hailing from various Persian Gulf countries convened in Saudi Arabia to vie for the record $31 million in prizes. They are judged on features most associated with beauty in this pageant, including the length of their lashes, the size of their eyes, the shape of their lips.

The pageant's runway covers 12 miles of desert in Rimah, a governorate in Riyadh province, and its competitors are not supermodels, but rather camels one-humped beauties of all colors and breeds.

More than 50,000 camels are participating in the King Abdulaziz Festival Camels Competition this month, often referred to as the "Miss Camel" competition.

The pageant, which runs through April 15, is an annual festival that began in 1999, when a group of area Bedouins decided they wanted to stage a contest for the most beautiful camel.

The competition went on to receive support from the Saudi royal family and has become a major cultural event, with 1,390 owners of camels flocking from various Persian Gulf countries, Talal bin Khalid Al-Torify, spokesman of the festival, told Arab News. The organizers announced the issuance of 10,000 visas to people from around the world who want to observe the camels, according to Al Arabiya. …

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