HH Sheikh Sultan Bin Zayed Camel Festival – Sweihan – 20 Jan-2 Feb 2019

It’s that time of the year again folks!  A fantastic camel festival only an hour’s drive from Abu Dhabi and Dubai, even less from Al Ain!  This is your chance to discover more about the ship of the desert and its revered place in Emirati culture and traditions!  And it’s FREE!



[pdf-embedder url=”https://thedesertdiva.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/01/English-Program.pdf” title=”English Program”]

I will have a translation for the events, or at least a description of them next week, but in the meantime please put the dates in your diary and come back for more details!

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Location: Sweihan

It doesn’t happen in the middle of the camel racetrack, however it is close by (layout varies from year to year) so once  you turn off the main road just follow the flags and signs!

What’s to see

Camel racing practise – every morning really early and also a couple of hours before sunset

Camel beauty contests – yes, they really are a thing!

Saluki Racing on Saturday 26th January (photo borrowed from The National Newspaper)

Heritage Camel Racing (human riders instead of robots) on Fri 1st and Saturday 2nd February

Heritage Souq – crafts and lots more!

Traditional Music and dancing


Hospitality – tea/coffee in huge quantities, and also lunch if you hook up with an official guide.  Give my friend Ali Al Mazrouei a call on 050 441 1269 or Abdullah Al Mansoori 050 230 0025 (or whatsapp them) to arrange for your free tour!

This year there will be a visitor tent, especially for expats, many of whom will be visiting the festial for the first time!  The festival area is still being constructed so there are no photos to show you, but you can expect a shaded seating area, with cold water and tea and coffee on tap!

If you are really really lucky you might even have the opportunity to meet His Highness, which is what happened last year!  I will be there myself again on the 23rd and 24th January so whatsapp me on 050 9478 563 if you’d like to meet up.

there is a chance you could be interviewed for TV, cameras will certainly be out in force to capture the day’s action and highlights!

Remember to wear modest clothing – shoulders, arms and knees;lower legs should be covered!

I have written about my previous visits here and here.

Go there!  Enjoy the hospitality!  Soak up the atmosphere!  Learn a bit more about this wonderful country we call home!

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