Camels are the Clydesdales of Saudi Arabia, venerated for their good looks, grace, and speed. Even as the country rapidly modernizes, the animals remain a central part of Saudi culture, and a lucrative one—with prized camels selling for more than $1 million.
VICE trekked to Al-Dahna for the King Abdulaziz Camel Festival—the largest of its kind—where titans of business and politics in the Middle East flock each year for a display of the finest camels in Saudi Arabia.
Hundreds of participants pit their camels head-to-head in a frenzied race and beauty contest for a chance to win roughly $57 million in prize money, and a chance to meet Saudi Arabia’s king and crown prince.
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