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The Saudi Arabian Festival Where Camels Race for Millions in Cash

The King Abdulaziz Camel Festival is the largest of its kind, drawing titans of business and politics from across the Middle East each year.
March 20, 2018, 2:20pm

In Saudi Arabia, camels are venerated for their good looks, grace, and speed. Even as the country rapidly modernizes, the animals remain a central part of Saudi culture, and a lucrative one—with prized camels selling for more than $1 million.

VICE trekked to Al-Dahna for the King Abdulaziz Camel Festival—the largest of its kind—where titans of business and politics in the Middle East flock each year for a display of the finest camels in Saudi Arabia. Hundreds of participants pit their camels head-to-head in a frenzied race and beauty contest for a chance to win roughly $57 million in prize money, along with a chance to meet Saudi Arabia's king and crown prince.

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