The Camel Race

Parking for the Night

From Jeddah, we drove up the coast until Yanbu and inland from there to reach the famous AlUla, Saudi Arabias Tourism hotspot. It was around 40 degrees along the coast, so we tried to get us far inland as possible in the hope of a cooler night. When the sun went down, we looked for a hidden place, which we finally found not far from the road behind some rocks.

The next day, we had still more than 200 km left. On the way, we made our online bookings for AlUla. We managed to make a reservation to visit Hegra, the Nabataean tombs built into the rocks. But this weekend, the AlUla Camel Cup took place as well, so we made another reservation and went there in the afternoon.

Castle near AlUla
Heritage Village @ AlUla Camel Cup

The Camel Cup was well-organised. We were directed to a parking and taken to the entrance with a small bus. Our online tickets were checked, and we were welcomed into the Heritage area, with nice seating areas, shops and food stalls. Music was playing, and we enjoyed the atmosphere until the races started.

Welcoming and helpful girls without scarf! were looking after the guests
Traditional costumes
Viewing plattform, finished just in time for the first race
And here they come!

The first day, there were races with real jockeys, the following days, the maybe more professional races took place with little robots instead of humans.

The camels and their riders are accompanied by many cars, hooting and cheering them on. Some camels arrived already without rider at the finishing line. One camel had decided to go the other way, until somebody helped the rider to turn it around again. There were also female jockeys, and it was fun to watch them racing past our viewing area. As the racetrack is some kilometres long, there was also a big screen showing the race in full.

In the Heritage village, there were also music performances, which was a great opportunity for us to listen to some traditional songs. The best part was the pantomime. There was a storyteller and even without understanding anything, we could follow the story of a boy and his camel getting separated from their family during a sandstorm. When the boy was attacked by wild animals, the camel defended him, and finally they were reunited with the family for a happy ending. The locals, from small to old, were fascinated by this story, which was lovely to watch.

For the night, we made our way to the Elephant Rock, which is surrounded by a chill out area with food stalls and comfortable seating areas, from where you had a great view of that fascinating rock. After enjoying a last drink there, we found a place for the night not far away, next to a Mushroom Rock.

1 thought on “The Camel Race”

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *