Camel racing is a deeply ingrained competitive sport which is why camel racing betting is one of the oldest and still extremely popular types of betting that has its roots in the Middle Eastern, North African, and Arabian Peninsula desert cultures. In Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Australia, Qatar, Mongolia, the United Arab Emirates, Jordan, Pakistan, Egypt, and Oman it is a well-liked sport.
The “ships of the desert,” or camels, have played an important role in the area for thousands of years, affecting every facet of life. The camels have functioned as a form of competition, celebration, and entertainment at festivals and other important events in addition to serving as a method of housing, food, and transportation. At these events, races would be held, usually more for entertainment than for actual competitiveness.
Competitive races, which required different prep work from exhibition races, often occurred as a result of a contest among camel owners.
History of Camel Racing
The first official camel race was held as part of Saudi Arabia’s Heritage Festival in 1964. In Saudi Arabia, camel racing became fully professionalized a decade later, in 1975. Camels were used by the populace as a mode of transportation, a symbol of wealth, and a safe haven in a hostile environment. Today, the government sponsors massive camel races and festivals with cash rewards reaching millions of Saudi Riyals. The activities also encourage local and foreign tourists to visit Saudi Arabia and engage in nonreligious tourism.
Additionally, by gathering people from various backgrounds together for the sole goal of enjoying the performance, these races reinforce solidarity.
The manner of life in the desert hasn’t changed much over the years, and that includes the camel’s significant socioeconomic role. As a result of the oil boom, the area underwent a transformation, and many components of the traditional way of life were lost. While technology eliminated the functional need for camels, the animal kept its symbolic value. As wealth increased, the affected countries were exposed to Western culture, technology, and luxury. As locals understood their rich and proud history was disappearing, they became aware of the need to act quickly. The power of such potent alteration caused the progressive demise of time-honoured customs and traditions.
The significance of preserving the customs that exemplified the essence of the area, including camel racing, was reemphasized.
Camel Racing in Recent Times
Camel racing has since developed into a highly organized and professional sport that requires specialized breeding, rigorous training regimens, and technique. In several other regions of the globe in which race has already started to draw sizable groups of spectators and powerful patrons, camel racing is likewise becoming more and more popular. The sport is still expanding and developing, becoming more popular in places where camels are rarely seen.
Camel racing is now regarded as an important global sport and a fantastic tourist destination. Participants come from all over the world to events, and victors take home a variety of attractive trophies, including substantial monetary sums. Furthermore, these competitions reflect the cultural heritage of the surrounding society in the Arab nations that make up the majority of the sport’s practitioners. The whole day of racing concludes in celebrations that honour regional customs, with traditional attire and ceremonies on display. These events support the preservation of regional folklore and traditions for the youth of today in an area that would otherwise be fast modernizing.
Dangers in Camel Racing
Kids as young as 2 are smuggled annually from nations like Bangladesh, Pakistan, and Sudan to work as riders in the camel racing profession, mostly in the Persian Gulf States. The majority of young camel jockeys are intellectually and physically stunted due to deliberate starvation to avoid excess weight; they are also frequently sexually and physically assaulted.
Child jockeys run serious hazards. Many people suffer severe injuries each year as a result of camel stampedes, and some even pass away. Near the racetracks, almost all of the young jockeys reside in barbed-wire-enclosed barracks. The kids are reliant on their kidnappers for survival because they are separated from their families and are living in a foreign culture. According to the U.S. Government, hundreds of trafficked persons are being used as camel jockeys across the region.
Measures are being put in place by various strata of government to blot away these deplorable acts linked to camel racing as a whole.