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.
The National Emergency Crisis and Disasters Management Authority and UAE Camel Racing Federation have announced new regulations for camel races as part of the precautionary measures being taken by UAE to contain the spread of the coronavirus, and ensure the safety of the public. pic.twitter.com/RoIybgImqX