Dubai camel races resume with robot riders
Dubai camel races resume with robot riders

Dubai camel races resume with robot riders

Life in Dubai is adapting to the new normal – and it’s even affected the Dubai camel racing season as they’re using robot riders and new guidelines to restrict the spread of Covid-19.

Racing has resumed at the Al Marmoom Camel Racetrack after five months off due to the pandemic. And yes, you did read that right: the camel races are run with robot jockeys.

The centuries-old sport is one of the oldest in the Middle East. And for years, the camels were ridden by children until that was outlawed in 2002. Since then, robots have been used to ride the camel and are equipped with shock absorbers and GPS tracking system.

Meanwhile, the robot’s controllers take charge of the robots’ whips from a speeding 4×4 driven along the side of the race track.

Under the new guidelines from the UAE Camel Racing Federation, all staff have to wear masks and take part in social distancing with heavy fines for any offences. But we don’t imagine they’re necessary for the riders this time around.

Camel beauty competition

There’s plenty of camel-related news at the moment as a camel beauty competition is returning to the UAE.

The UAE camel beauty competition is part of the 14th Al Dhafra Festival which is taking place later this year.

The beauty doesn’t just stop at camels though. C’mon, this is 2020!

You can also get involved with falcon and goat beauty contests.

All the camel/goat/falcon-fancying action takes place at Madinat Zayed in Al Dhafrah. The festival runs from November 5 until the end of January 2021.