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The Al Dhafra Festival in Abu Dhabi is a celebration of the Bedouin lifestyle that runs from October to January annually. At the heart of the festival are the mazayna or camel beauty contests that involve tens of thousands of camels from across the Arabian Peninsula. It focuses on purebred breeds from the Asayel (pedigree) and Majaheem (dark-skinned) lineages.


Hundreds of men and women from tribes across the region come to the Al Dhafra Festival to exhibit and compete in events that bring alive aspects of the Bedouin lifestyle. It includes purebred Arabian horse racing, Arabian Saluki dog races, falconry, and handicrafts, for example, Khoos (palm frond) weaving and Talli (embroidery). Other activities include a beauty contest for sheep, date palm, and packaging competitions, as well as traditional Emirati performing arts.


The festival is held near Madinat Zayed, the largest town in the Al Dhafra Region of Abu Dhabi. This region is the ancestral home of the Bani Yas tribe, of which the ruling Al Nahyan family are members. The town carries the name of the United Arab Emirates’ first president, the late Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan, Founding Father of the United Arab Emirates, reflecting the significance of this region to the country’s history.

The children learned about Beduin lives, camel traders, the products they sell during the festival, and what attributes camels must have to be sold for the highest price. Then we painted the best-looking camels to be offered at this festival:)))
Ms. Eva Gogova

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