March 27, 2013 - Posted by Erin in Culture, Travel, Travels in Asia

Camels and sheikhs and robot jockeys, oh my! That’s pretty much all I could think the whole time I was at the Al Marmoum Camel Racetrack, which is situated in the sandy and relatively undeveloped outskirts of Dubai. At the races to do research for an article, I was able to ride around the track in a chase car, stuff myself with loads of free baklava, and get within dreamy distance of the Crown Prince of Dubai.

It was a wild Middle Eastern adventure to be sure, one which allowed me to get acquainted with a softer side of the city, minus all the looming skyscrapers and perfectly manicured streets. While I may have to tease you about my experience (coming soon to an in-flight magazine near you), here are some shots of the event’s most surreal moments. Also, my friend Holly, who graciously hosted me, provides a brilliant recap of the races over on her blog, so be sure to check it out!

The finish line at the races is a jumble of camels, robots, SUVs and royalty

Robot jockeys replace what used to be child jockeys, which were banned back in 2002

The Crown Prince of Dubai, AKA Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid al Maktoum

A winning camel after being slathered with a saffron mixture

Striking a pose with my new camel peeps


4 Responses to “Camels and sheikhs and robot jockeys, oh my!”

  1. Candace Says:

    Hellooo, Crown Prince 😉 Dreamy princes aside, it’s so fun to see some photos from this day! And I totally see what you mean now by how the SUVs drive alongside the track. Can’t wait to see your piece in print!!!!

  2. Andi of My Beautiful Adventures Says:

    I love that last pic of you!!!!!!!

  3. Erin in Costa Rica Says:

    awesome, that is such a cool experience! I want to know how that camel feels about being covered in saffron – I guess I’ll have to wait for your article to come out 🙂

  4. Josh Says:

    I’d hate to imagine what happens to the losing camels if the winner gets smothered in saffron. Never even knew camel racing existed! Great pics.

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