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