Prince pays $2.7m for camel

2008-04-08 10:20

Abu Dhabi - The crown prince of the United Arab Emirates of Dubai has bought a female camel for a record $2.72m, an organiser at a camel beauty pageant said on Monday.

Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashed al-Maktoum "bought camels... worth 16.5 million dirhams ($4.49m), including a female camel... for 10 million dirhams ($2.72m)," Hamad bin Kardoum al-Amiri said.

Amiri, quoted by the official WAM news agency, made the remarks on the sidelines of the nine-day beauty pageant which opened on Wednesday in the UAE capital of Abu Dhabi.

More than 10 000 camels - including females which are the fasting racing camels - from across the Gulf are competing for prize money totalling around $9.5m. One hundred cars are also up for grabs.

The contest is part of a camel festival in Abu Dhabi that aims to celebrate and preserve the region's cultural heritage.

Oil-rich Abu Dhabi, one of seven emirates that make up the UAE federation, produced the world's first test-tube purebred camel and has begun using remote-controlled robot riders in its camel races in place of child jockeys.

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