The first edition of the Qatar Camel Festival is underway and has attracted participation from many countries.

The first edition of the Qatar Camel Festival, which continues until March 22 at Lebsayyer, has attracted wide participation from many countries.

The 45-day event, features competitions for categories including the most beautiful camel and the original breeds of high value.

The festival is considered a continuation of the traditional way of life and sport as people in earlier times gave great importance to camels, an integral component of desert life.

The Qatar Camel Festival also aims at enhancing animal wealth and to protect and nurture the high value original breeds of Arabian camels. It is considered an excellent opportunity for camel owners and lovers to exchange experiences and expertise and discuss related issues while attracting new fans from the younger generation.

During the early phase of planning the festival, Hamad Jaber al-Athba, head of the organising committee at the Ministry of Culture and Sports, said the festival was being developed to enable all interested parties to participate and enjoy the event as camels have always been linked to the local environment and heritage, and are considered a key component of the economic, social and cultural lives of the people of the region and Qatar, in particular.

He described the event as a sports, tourism and economic carnival on an international level with considerable participation from many countries, even outside the GCC. The prizes are of high value, making the event strongly contested.

The festival has been divided into two phases; the first is allocated for local competitions, while the second is for international competitions among herd owners from all over the world, and GCC and Arab countries in particular. Mohamed al-Marri, head of the media committee of the festival, said the first local phase of the event started on January 28 and the international competitions are currently progressing. He also explained that the objectives of the festival include preserving the relevant heritage and traditions and keeping them alive for the future. ✤