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Qatar is hosting a beauty contest for camels and it is the most endearing thing you'll see

The camels are divided into separate categories according to their age and breed and judged on different criteria.

Qatar is hosting a beauty contest for camels and it is the most endearing thing you'll see
Cover Image Source: Getty Images | Eric Hanson

As FIFA World Cup is taking place in Qatar, the whole world's eyes are on the middle-eastern country. However, apart from an international football event, the country is also hosting a fun and distinct competition: the Qatar Camel Mzayen Club beauty contest. It is exactly what it sounds like, a beauty contest for camels and a number of countries from across the Gulf are participating. Camels have long been an important element of Qatar's culture. The beautiful creatures would be ridden across great distances in the desert by the country's ancient travelers, assisting them in exploring the peninsula and all the trade routes along the way.


Hamad Jaber al-Athba, the president of the club revealed: "The idea is similar to the soccer World Cup, we did a camel beauty World Cup. We have participants from the Gulf Cooperation Council, we have big names and today is the fifth day of the tournament." The camels compete in different categories according to their age and breed. Hamad added that the criteria for judging the beauty of camels differ in each category, reports BBC.

"For instance, the black camels are judged according to the size of the body and the head and the location of the ears. But for the Maghateer-type camel, we look for proportionality and the ears should be dropping down, not stand straight," he said. Moreover, the camels belonging to the Asel breed are judged according to "the location of the ears" and "there should be a delicacy in the bones, the hooves." 


He called camels "a companion during the beginning of civilization in the Gulf." Participating camels wait in an enclosure with their heads held high and munching frequently before being paraded in front of an audience gathered indoors. Judges enjoy coffee and sweets while assessing the majestic animals, per The National News. A medical committee inspects the animals before permitting them to compete in the beauty contest to avoid fraud and identify cosmetic surgery. 

Mohanna Ibrahim Al Anazi, the Saudi Arabian owner of the bronze and gold-winning camels in the tournament, was overjoyed when he received his reward. He said, "I can't describe my feelings, because this female has an audience like the audience of the World Cup, like Real Madrid or Manchester (United). And now, they are all celebrating." 


According to the committee president, owners occasionally utilize fillers, Botox or silicon to improve their camel's chances of winning. Mangiah Ghufran, a full-fledged camel, won the beauty contest at Qatar's inaugural camel festival in March this year. The animal achieved the requirements of head size and attractiveness, neck length and hump posture without undergoing botox surgery, per The Siasat Daily

Mangiah Ghufran earned the first prize of $208,500 only after going through rigorous examination at the beauty pageant. Before crowning the beauty contest winner, the camel was x-rayed to ensure it had not been surgically improved. It came after 43 camels were eliminated in a contest in Saudi Arabia as they were discovered to have been administered chemical modifications to make their lips droopier and their humps more shapely.



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