DUBAI, 1st December 2016: The National Day Camel Marathon in the UAE, organized by the Hamdan Bin Mohammed Heritage Center (HHC) in cooperation with Dubai Camel Racing Club, will take place on Saturday 3rd December 2016 in Dubai International Endurance City, Saih Al Salam.

The Camel Marathon, organized as part of the Center’s extensive efforts to safeguard the intangible cultural heritage of the UAE, is part of the ongoing 45th UAE National Day celebrations.

Open to UAE citizens above 18 years of age, the National Day Camel Marathon is set to begin early morning on Saturday.

Souad Ibrahim Darwish, Director of Championships at HHC, stated the Camel Marathon is a celebration of the 45th UAE National Day festivities.

She said: “Camel racing is one of the most enduring and centuries-old traditional sports in the UAE. Following the success of the inaugural event last year, we have renamed the race as the National Day Camel Marathon since it coincides with the UAE’s National Day celebrations.

“The National Day Camel Marathon is in line with the Center’s initiatives aimed at safeguarding our intangible cultural heritage and encouraging Emiratis to participate in traditional sports in an atmosphere that exudes a sense of national pride and community spirit. The National Day Camel Marathon occupies pride of place in Fazza Championships annual events calendar and serves as another platform for encouraging the younger generation to take up traditional Emirati sports and keep in touch with their heritage.

“This unique Marathon will also showcase the kindred spirit between man and animal. The National Day Camel Marathon will be conducted in a professional manner under the supervision of Dubai Camel Racing Club with no jockeys used during the challenging and energy sapping 25-kilometre distance. Most of these camels would have trained for nearly three months for this race. Only those who have grown up breeding camels will understand the potential of their charges. We wish the participants best of luck.”

The inaugural Camel Marathon saw the participation 72 UAE national contestants between the ages of 18 and 50.

Yahya Bin Ali Al Malaai emerged the winner of the inaugural Camel Marathon, with Sultan Bin Nawab Al Balooshi taking the second place and Salim Bin Obaid Al Hammadi finishing third.