Hot Milk And Grooming For Camels At Saudi Luxury ‘Hotel’

The Camel Hotel is a logical step for the lucrative industry in Saudi Arabia.

Place of residence, Saudi Arabia:

With heated stalls and hot milk, life couldn’t be more glamorous for Saudi Arabia’s finest camels when they stay at a luxury resort near Riyadh.

For 400 riyals (just over $ 100) a night, camels are groomed, washed and pampered before entering beauty pageants, where millions of dollars are at stake.

Camels, many of which are hired, are closely checked for Botox and other illegal enhancements that could see them thrown out for cheating.

And everything is done in a safe environment to avoid any disruptive epidemic.

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The Tatman, described as the first hotel for camels, is an open-air desert resort near the annual King Abdulaziz festival, which has prizes totaling $ 66.6 million.

It’s a logical step for the lucrative, well-heeled Gulf industry, where camels are seen as a symbol of traditional life.

Animals are judged on attributes such as their lips, neck, bumps, and coloring, and wins are very prestigious for their owners.

Omair al-Qahtani, who is Saudi, registered 80 camels in the Tatman for 16 days, claiming it would cost him between $ 160,000 and $ 213,000.

The facility is “very comfortable, as the camels remain in their care and undergo regular medical examinations,” the 51-year-old businessman told AFP.

It has 120 pens, including singles and doubles, each fitted with plastic containers for water and fodder. Departure is at 12:30 p.m.

During their stay, 50 workers take care of the animals and are kept under strict sanitary conditions to minimize the risk of Covid cases.

“The obsession with camels”

In years past, Qahtani and his assistants pitched tents near the festival, tending and feeding the camels themselves.

Many four-legged guests are contestants in the Mazayen al-Ibl contest, the world’s largest camel beauty pageant and a highlight of the King Abdulaziz festival.

Mohamed al-Harbi, media chief of the camel club which organizes the competition, said the group envisioned the hotel “to protect and preserve the camels and also to reduce the burden on the owner.”

He said the hotel is popular, generating more than $ 1.6 million in revenue.

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Money is no problem for some who attend the festival, which features well-appointed buildings and tents in the middle of the desert, and stalls for luxury car makers Rolls-Royce and BMW.

Saudi enthusiasts can spend hundreds of thousands of dollars on camels entered in contests, where unscrupulous competitors sometimes seek an illegal advantage.

Forty-three dromedaries were kicked out of the festival when camel checkers spotted infractions such as Botox, silicone, and fillers injected into the lips, bumps and tails.

But Harbi said the hotel provides “control” so people “can quickly spot any tampering,” reassuring them that their rented animals will not be sent in their luggage.

Qahtani said this is a big plus, as trafficked camels can result in fines of up to $ 26,000.

The competitions “heighten the obsession with camels in Saudi Arabia,” Harbi said.

(This story was not edited by NDTV staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

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