For the Arabs, camels are their most sacred animal. The camel was critical to their survival. Historically, camels provided them with milk and transportation. When they could no longer find water on their lands, they used camels to locate new sources. Although they call the festival a beauty contest, in reality it is more like a dog show or a horse show. Participants have to know lineage of the camel, and it must be a pedigree. A pedigree camel must be pure breed; the owner must know who the camel’s parents are. In order to attest to the purity of the camel, the owner must make an oath before god – this is how pure breeds are verified.

They have special contests that are just for sheiks. In the UAE they only have one royal family – they have 19 sons, and a few cousins. In Abu Dhabi, there are less than 100 sheiks. It's a bit strange to westerners that to enter some of the competitions an owner must have multiple camels that are all worth multiple millions of dollars each.

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