An ancient tradition that is undergoing a major revival throughout the UAE and beyond, camel racing is highly popular in Dubai. With races hidden in the desert, passers-by are often left astonished as they see colourfully dressed camels hurtling along the tracks just after sunrise, with large crowds cheering the animals on.
A truly unforgettable experience, watching a camel race at least once is a must. For those taking part, each individual race can promise big money, while eager spectators are able to enjoy the thrill of the race and gain a glimpse into a completely different culture.
Surprisingly, racing camels have the ability to reach up to 65km/h when running short sprints, or maintain a steady speed of 40km/h over long distances. Races vary in length too, and frequently range from 1.5km to 8km.
To ensure the welfare of each camel, riders have now been replaced by small robotic jockeys. These are attached to their back and controlled by the camel's owner, who will ride along the track in their car, using a walkie talkie to provide encouragement – it is a real spectacle to behold!
Camel races in Dubai take place just outside of the city, in two key locations. The Al Wathba Camel Race Track lies 45km east on the Al Ain Road, while the Dubai Camel Racing Club, also known as Al Marmoon, is less than 50 minutes from Kempinski Hotel Mall of the Emirates. Racing season typically begins in October and continues until early March, with morning races starting around 6:30am and afternoon sessions commencing at 3pm.
Entry is always free, but don't forget to bring your binoculars and a camera - you won't want to miss a second of this incredible sport. At the track, food and various souvenirs can also be bought.
To arrange a trip to Al Wathba Camel Race Track or Dubai Camel Racing Club, please don't hesitate to get in touch with our dedicated concierge team at Kempinski Hotel Mall of the Emirates. Our staff will be delighted to provide you with information concerning racing dates and times, and even organise transport for you and your party to and from your preferred racing track.
You can find the concierge lounge at the entrance of the hotel, or alternatively call +971 341 0000 or email firstname.lastname@example.org before your arrival.