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Good boys do it well? Saudi drifters and stunt drivers

Anna Zacharias   |  April 17, 2014

By day, camels ruled Millions Street in Al Gharbia. By night, it belonged to drifters.The air, usually alive with fireside chatter, was still at Al Dhafra. It was 10pm and the roads were empty.Ten minutes from my tent, I accidentally drove into a drift contest. Two cars raced towards me. Scores of cars were parked on... Read more


Video: Mahueba the Camel struts down the catwalk

Anna Zacharias   |  April 15, 2014

“This,” said Sheikh Abdulla Rashid Al Athba, gesturing at the honking motorcade, “is just preparation. This is nothing. When she wins, you will see us flying. If she wins, you’ll see triple the people here.”Mahueba the camel and her caravan crossed my path as I drove around the sands ... Read more


The camel that loved her dokha

Anna Zacharias   |  April 10, 2014

A man once told me, “My friend’s father, he loved his camels, one in particular. You know Camel cigarettes? Let me tell me you about the original camel cigarette...”This camel, he told me, loved her owner very deeply. Above all, she loved his fragrance.It was not his cologne. She loved the smell... Read more


It’s photos of camels, not family or pop stars, that cover the walls of an ezba

Anna Zacharias   |  April 9, 2014

These are not instagram’d selfies of owners and camels or artistic landscapes of camel silhouettes on red dunes. Nope.


The Princess

Anna Zacharias   |  April 3, 2014

The Al Wathba finish line is a mess of white Land Cruisers with tinted-black windows and low-digit licence plates.One car sticks out - a Phantom Rolls-Royce, a spot of dark red among the white.Adel Al Marzouqi is parked at the finish line, waiting for his camel Amira. “That’s princess in English,” ... Read more


Going once, going twice...

Anna Zacharias   |  March 16, 2014

Ever wanted to own a camel? Got a lot of spare cash?Then you're in luck. Today is the second and final day of camel auctions at the Al Wathbah race track outside Abu Dhabi city.


Wanassa is parked for Al Wathbah; the new ride is Range Rover

Anna Zacharias   |  March 13, 2014

Wanassa is out of the Al Wathbah races, but no fear, I have a substitute.Yesterday I met a camel who goes by the name of Range, as in Range Rover.“Why Range Rover?” I asked his owner, Abdulla Salem. “Did he win a lot of cars?”“Only pickups,” he said. “But when you ride... Read more


Al Wathbah Cup one of the glitziest of the racing season

Anna Zacharias   |  March 11, 2014

There is good news and there is bad news.First, the good news.If you’re in Abu Dhabi, count yourself lucky. This is the best week of the year to catch a camel race if you live in the capital.The Al Wathbah Cup launched March 10 and runs until March 19. The season finals are the biggest races of the year and are ... Read more


Camel Chic of the Week: Poetry on Wheels

Anna Zacharias   |  March 6, 2014

A star needs publicity and poetry is the equivalent of a camelís press release. Once upon a time, a camelís renown was spread through performances of nabati poetry at a fireside majlis by bards like Harab Salem Al Menhali. Fireside recitations still happen but there are faster ways to get the message... Read more


Search for the perfect camel ends in Happiness

Anna Zacharias   |  February 13, 2014

Happiness is not a fish you can catch. It is a camel you can race. The truth is, races get a little boring when you donít have someone to support. My search for a debutant has not been an easy one. In a country full of camels, you wouldnít think finding a star would be difficult, but my camel luck has... Read more