Camel Racing: A traditional sporting activity in Kuwait
By She Jingwei

Do you want to have a thrilling taste of Kuwait's sporting life? Then you can't miss the famous local event – camel racing. It isn't only a centuries-old sporting activity in many Arabian countries, but also a festival. 

Camel racing in Kuwait takes place throughout October to April every year at the Kuwait Camel Racing Club. At present, this camel racing club is the only official camel racing club operated under the aegis of the Youth and Sports Foundation. The good news is that the club is open to the public for free.

Camels compete during the Kuwait's 19th Camel Racing Tournament at Kuwait Camel Racing Club in AI-Ahmadi Governorate, Kuwait, February 9, 2019. /Xinhua Photo

Camels compete during the Kuwait's 19th Camel Racing Tournament at Kuwait Camel Racing Club in AI-Ahmadi Governorate, Kuwait, February 9, 2019. /Xinhua Photo

Racing camels wait to participate before the Kuwait's 19th Camel Racing Tournament at Kuwait Camel Racing Club in AI-Ahmade Governorate, Kuwait, February 9, 2019. /Xinhua Photo

Racing camels wait to participate before the Kuwait's 19th Camel Racing Tournament at Kuwait Camel Racing Club in AI-Ahmade Governorate, Kuwait, February 9, 2019. /Xinhua Photo

A camel on the racing track at Kuwait Camel Racing Club in Kuwait. /Xinhua Photo

A camel on the racing track at Kuwait Camel Racing Club in Kuwait. /Xinhua Photo

A worker fixes a robot jockey on the back of a racing camel before the Kuwait's 19th Camel Racing Tournament at Kuwait Camel Racing Club in AI-Ahmadi Governorate, Kuwait, February 9, 2019. /Xinhua Photo

A worker fixes a robot jockey on the back of a racing camel before the Kuwait's 19th Camel Racing Tournament at Kuwait Camel Racing Club in AI-Ahmadi Governorate, Kuwait, February 9, 2019. /Xinhua Photo

Camels on the racing track at Kuwait Camel Racing Club in Kuwait. /Xinhua Photo

Camels on the racing track at Kuwait Camel Racing Club in Kuwait. /Xinhua Photo

There are two options for people wanting to watch the race – one is to stand outside while the other one is to go inside the clubhouse. Interestingly, the Kuwait Camel Club now uses robotic jockeys instead of humans for the race. During the race, the camel owners drive down the track alongside their camels, and operate the robot jockeys with wireless controllers. In addition, the camels usually wear colorful Arabian style outfits that add to the highlights for this sporting event.

Today, camels are an indispensable part of Arab culture and have played a significant role in the relations with other cultures and nations, especially in the Middle East, Arabian Peninsula and China.

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(Cover designed by Fan Chenxiao)