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Camel Racing: A Must-See in Abu Dhabi

Odds are, you’ve seen the familiar view of race cars zooming around tight corners of the NASCAR racetracks, dodging other cars and going full-speed ahead through hundreds of laps for that first place finish.

You’ve also likely been to the racetracks, putting money down on your star horse, hoping to win it big when they take home the prize.

But what about camel races? (Yes, camels.) Have you ever been to a camel race? If not, book a flight to Abu Dhabi in the United Arab Emirates where camel racing is one of the main attractions.

Probably one of the coolest things a tourist can do in Abu Dhabi is visit the camel races. Trust me when I say, it’s virtually impossible to get bored at the camel races. It’s a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for most visitors, so make sure you don’t miss out on it.

Camel racing in Abu Dhabi is probably the most popular during the wintertime and is usually done on Thursday and Friday mornings. There are several tracks around the city where the races are held and you’ll find people pumped with excitement and fervor cheering on their favorite camels.

During your time at the racetracks, you won’t just find tourists. Camel racing is a traditional sport in the UAE, so you’ll see foreign visitors, local people and even some members of the royal family.

The atmosphere around the racetrack is electrifying. The winner of the race receives a huge cash prize, so camel racing is quite competitive and exciting … if you know what I mean.

Over the past few years, camel racing has become so popular that the Emirates Heritage Club actually held (successfully) a Camel Racing Festival. This festival has since become a tradition and is held twice a year. During the Camel Racing Festival, there are 26 different competitions (12 races on the first day and 14 races on the second day).

The festival attracts people of all ages, so don’t be surprised to see riders in their 60’s or 70’s out on the racetrack. Boys ages 10 years and older are eligible to participate in the camel races at the camel racing festival.

Camel racing in Abu Dhabi is really one of the coolest experiences you can ever have. You’ll never get to see something like this in the United States. If you are visiting Abu Dhabi during the winter season and you don’t want to spend all your time at the beach or exploring museums, plan to spend a morning at the racetracks … the camel race tracks that is. You’ll experience the thrill of a lifetime … and who knows … maybe leave the tracks a little richer than you were when you got there.

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