Camels on catwalk at Abu Dhabi beauty pageant

With more than $10 million in prizes up for grabs, the competition - which started Thursday - is serious business for camel owners and seen as the largest camel beauty pageant in the world in terms of the value of prizes and number of contestants.

The prerequisite for camel owners wishing to participate in the contest is that their camels be clean and disease-free.

The Gulf's leading camel connoisseurs will rate the camels on such criteria as the grace of their necks, the shape of their noses and humps as well as the style of their hair.

Judges also categorise the camels by breed, age and ownership.

The aim of the Al-Dhafrah Camel Festival, organised by Abu Dhabi's Culture and Heritage Authority, is to promote and revive traditional values and desert culture.

Camel races, children activities and a market for traditional handicrafts are also set up among the activities of the Al-Dhafrah Festival which ends next Friday.

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