Dubai, 5 December 2022: In a show of pride and love for the UAE on its 51st National Day, the Hamdan Bin Mohammed Heritage Center (HHC) held the second preliminary race for the National Day Camel Marathon at Dubai Camel Racing Club’s Al Marmoom Race Track over the weekend.

Three races in three different age groups were held for the second preliminary race and the distance was also increased to six kilometres, from the previous 4km.

The National Day Camel Marathon  is held annually in conjunction with the Arabian Camel Festival under the patronage of His Highness Sheikh Hamdan Bin Mohammed Bin Rashid Bin Saeed Al Maktoum, Crown Prince of Dubai. The main marathon will be held on January 6, 2023.


Emirati teen Issa Nasser Al-Ghafli dominated the 16-19 years old age group and finished first with a time of 10minutes and 54.01seconds. He was followed by Saeed Rashid Al-Khatiri with a time of 11mins and 10.08secs. Finishing in third place was Abdullah Saif Al-Ketbi with a time of 11mins and 26.04secs.

Al-Ghafli said winning the second preliminary races gave him enough confidence coming into the main race next year. “Everyone aspires to be crowned the National Day Camel Marathon champion and I’m looking forward to liftering the cup,” the young Emirati camel rider added. 

In the 20-29 category, Suhail Muhammad Al-Hamiri finished the 6km race in first place with a time of 11mins and 8.02secs, while Khalifa Saad Al-Qamzi came second. Al-Hamiri said he is also confident winning the main race, following his strong showing in the preliminary race. 

Khaled Ali Al-Nuaimi again won first place in the above-30 age group with a time of 11mins and 21.04secs. He previously won the first preliminary race in the same age group last month. He added he will continue to train hard to win the main race.

Yahya Ali Al-Malai finished second in the above-30 category with a time of 11mins and 43.08secs, while Khamis Ali Al-Malai settled for third place after clocking in 11mins and 46.01secs.

Strong competition

His Excellency Abdullah Hamdan bin Dalmook, CEO of HHC, witnessed the race and congratulated the winners for raising the bar of the competition. He said: “After two preliminary races, we have witnessed the high level of preparation and training by the participants. We are looking forward to holding main marathon on January 6, which is open to all participants in all age groups.”