The Camel Festival is held every year in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. Organized in the name of the late King Abdul Aziz, the festival is basically a competition to select beautiful camels. The festival, held in a desert northeast of Riyadh, is attended by camel traders from the Persian Gulf. The winners of the competition received prizes of up to ৬ 68 million.
The news agency AFP reports that in recent years, camel traders have been seen taking unscrupulous paths in the lure of prize money. They are using cosmetic injections and cosmetic surgery to enhance their beauty in an artificial way. In such a situation, the organizers of the beauty pageant are taking strict action. They are now experimenting with whether the beauty of camels is being artificially enhanced. If such camels are found, they are declared unfit for competition and their owners are being fined.
The state-run Saudi Press Agency reported on Thursday that 43 camels had been declared unfit to compete this year after irregularities were discovered. This is the highest number of camels since the beauty pageant began six years ago. Earlier, more than 12 camels were excluded from the competition.
The hump of their lips and back plays an important role in considering the beauty of camels. And artificial methods are being used to make them attractive. According to the Saudi Press Agency, the camels were tested to see if they had undergone cosmetic surgery or cosmetic injections. Various diagnostic tests including X-ray were performed on them.
One of the organizers, speaking on condition of anonymity, told AFP that authorities wanted the camels to be presented as they really are. The official added that the use of beauty products on camels is considered as animal cruelty. Violators of this rule are prohibited in subsequent competitions with hefty fines.
The 40-day camel festival will run in Riyadh until mid-January. Besides beauty pageants, camel races are also held here.