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Nearly 25,000 camels are competing in an annual camel beauty pageant. Check out some of the finalists.

Nearly 25,000 camels compete in UAE beauty pageant

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    Wednesday, December 18, 2013, 5:53 PM -

    Nearly 25,000 camels from Arab countries are competing in an annual camel beauty pageant held in the city of Zayed, the United Arab Emirates (UAE).

    The 15-day event, which kicked off on Saturday, attracted more than 1,000 camel owners from ten countries, including Saudi Arabia, Qatar and Oman.

    The 25,000 camels are classified into different groups according to their species, body type and age, to compete for overall prizes. 

    "Buttocks, humps and their thigh line are all to be assessed according to the standards. For example the head, a good camel should have a bigger head and erect ears. We can score them into 25 grades by assessing only their heads," said Hamad Mohammed Alshamsi, one of the judges.

    With a total prize pool reportedly worth 15 million U.S. dollars, including hundreds of SUVs to be won during the event, competition standards are high.

    A participant from Saudi Arabia won the first prize of Tuesday's competition with his camel. 

    "It's amazing. This is our honour," said the winner.

    Owning a camel is viewed as status symbol in Arab countries and they traditionally hold an important role in Arab life.

    Camels are not only modes of transportation, but also a source of daily necessities, providing milk and hair that can be woven into carpets and tents.

    Thumbnail image courtesy of Angeloux/Flickr Creative Commons

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