Ships of the desert take center stage in Riyadh

Participants are paraded on Wednesday in the third edition of the King Abdul Aziz Camel Festival. (SPA)
Updated 15 March 2019

Ships of the desert take center stage in Riyadh

  • Some 10,762 camels are participating in the camel beauty contest, the main feature of the festival
  • To guard against cheats, a medical committee of veterinarians and administrators is constantly checking up on the camels

JEDDAH: The third edition of the King Abdul Aziz Camel Festival is underway until March 20, organized by the Saudi Camel Club in Al-Sayahid, an area outside Riyadh. 

The festival has been attracting people nationally and internationally, including Omani Ambassador Dr. Ahmed bin Hilal Al-Busaidi and Danish Ambassador Ole Moesby.

The Ministry of Environment, Water and Agriculture has recorded 10,762 camels as participating.

For the first time at the festival, the Original Camel Beauty Contest will be held on Friday. Most of the contestants are from Saudi Arabia (314 out of 472), with 143 from the UAE, six from Kuwait and three from Bahrain. 

A medical committee of nine veterinarians and administrators is constantly checking up on the camels. 

Twenty cases of cheating have been identified, 18 of which involved injecting them to widen their lower lip.

The festival includes the Saudi Camel Village, which has organized the “World of Nomads” event, showcasing the histories and cultures of nomadic peoples from more than 75 countries.


Nomadic culture

The “Cinema Stan” hall will screen more than 90 short films highlighting man’s relationship with nature, and mythological figures associated with nomadic culture.

The hall, which seats more than 300 people, will provide Arabic subtitles. Visitors can watch 20 short films every day from 4 p.m. to 10 p.m.

The festival also includes a commercial area, a desert park, and a village center where activities, entertainment, cultural events, traditional food and handicrafts are available. 

The village is receiving large numbers of visitors, welcoming them from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. 

On the sidelines of the festival, the Camel Museum is exhibiting the animal’s history in Islamic and Arab countries.

The museum includes an overview of camel breeds, as well as paintings and drawings made of the animal’s hair

“We’re receiving 4,000-5,000 visitors on weekdays and 7,000-8,000 on weekends, so there are many people coming,” Bandar Al-Rashid, head of media and communication at the festival, told Arab News. “We’re taking measures to ensure that the camels at the festival are the best of their kind.”

MiSK, Qiddiya team up for internship program 

Updated 27 min 30 sec ago

MiSK, Qiddiya team up for internship program 

  • Interns will work on entertainment mega-project
  • Program open to university seniors and new graduates

RIYADH: A new internship program for young Saudis has been launched in the Kingdom, following a partnership between Misk Foundation and the Qiddiya Investment Company (QIC).

The program runs from June 16 to Aug. 31, 2019, and provides an opportunity for university seniors and recent graduates to be part of Qiddiya, an entertainment mega-project located 40 minutes from Riyadh.

Interns will have the chance to work at Qiddiya’s corporate offices alongside professionals from around the world and will be placed across 12 departments.

They will learn and develop skills that are required to succeed in their professional lives.

They will also gain exposure to QIC’s culture and learn from executives with over 20 years of experience across several sectors. 

QIC CEO Mike Reininger said: “We are contributing directly to the Saudi Vision (2030 reform plan) by creating a richer lifestyle for Saudi citizens while spurring innovation in the creative, hospitality and entertainment sectors. This unique opportunity allows students and fresh graduates to experience what it takes to be part of the change in Saudi by giving them the chance to work alongside a group of both local and international seasoned professionals. Thanks to this partnership with MiSK, we will be training the next generation of industry leaders.” 

Application to the program is open for those with fewer than two years of professional experience. Candidates must show strong academic credentials and submit a short video as part of their application.

King Salman led the Qiddiya ground-breaking ceremony in front of a global audience last April.

The project is aimed at helping to stem the $30 billion a year which Saudis currently spend abroad on tourism, and has the backing of the Kingdom’s Public Investment Fund.

It targets local, regional and international tourists and will be Saudi Arabia’s preeminent entertainment, sports and cultural destination.

It is expected to be the world’s largest entertainment city by 2030, with a total area of 334 square kilometers, surpassing Walt Disney World in Florida, which is only 110 sq. km.