IN PICS: Jordan camel race

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Two young bedouins take part in a camel desert race in Wadi Rum in southwestern Jordan. Participants from Saudi Arabia, Jordan and Egypt took part in the event which is one of several similar races held in the Wadi Rum valley annually. (Getty Images)
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A Jordanian Bedouin prepares for a camel race in the desert. Jordanian and Saudi bedouins competed in this popular traditional bedouin sport. (Getty Images)
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Bedouin jockeys wait with their camels for the start of the race in Wadi Rum, southwestern Jordan. The valley is cut out from sandstone and granite rock, in the Jordan desert for the annual camel race. (Getty Images)
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The former president of the UAE, Sheikh Zayed, endorsed camel racing and provided financial support for citizens who are caretakers of camels. Camel races take place on an annual basis, mostly during the late October to early April racing season and periodically throughout the year. (Getty Images)
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Bedouins watch the camel desert race in Wadi Rum. \n

\n\nThe UAE has 15 racetracks across the country with spacious and well-kept stadiums for viewers. They are located on city outskirts, complete with rest tents, connecting roads, electricity, water, telephone lines, equipment for live television and radio broadcasts, a team of doctors, stand-by ambulances, and print transmission capabilities. (Getty Images)
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Race distances vary between 4 to 10 kilometers and may include anywhere from 15 to 70 camels or more. The lifting of the large, multi-strand barrier signifies the beginning of the race. At the racetracks, dress is casual, admission is free, and many serve light beverages. Binoculars are suggested and it is important to note that cameras are not permitted at the racetracks. (Getty Images)
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Two young bedouins take part in a camel desert race in Wadi Rum. Camel racing is supported by the highest levels of UAE society, with former President Zayed owned a personal stable consisting of 14,000 camels and 9,000 workers for their upkeep. At the Nad al Sheba racetrack, the morning races consist primarily of camels owned by sheikhs, whereas the afternoon races are open to all. Sheikhs have been known to buy camels from owners who have won the afternoon races, offering large sums of money to acquire the victorious camel. (Getty Images)
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Over the past 20 years, camel racing in the Gulf gained more structure and prominence through increased interest in the sport and organisation. Just in the 1990s, 12 new tracks were built to meet the rising widespread demand for camel racing. The sheiks of the UAE have invested large sums of money into the development of camel racing throughout the Emirates, in addition to putting cash into the buying and training of camels in order to participate themselves in the races. (Getty Images)
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Currently, there are approximately 14,000 active racing camels in the UAE, which require large numbers of people to maintain them and keep them in top condition. Workers to tend the camels many times come from neighbouring states such as Pakistan and Oman since the sport provides both indirect and direct financial support for thousands of people due to its popularity as a national pastime. Many trainers take their camels and race in other countries, such as Qatar, which have extended racing seasons beyond the UAE season. (Getty Images)
Sun 24 Aug 2008 12:02 PM GST
Last Updated: Mon 23 Jan 2017 04:38 PM GST