Dubai Sheik Pays $2.7M for Camel

May have been a record; then Abu Dhabi sheik shelled out $7M for pair
By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Posted Apr 9, 2008 12:28 PM CDT
A camel breeder stands next to one of his prized animals during the Mayazin Dhafra Camel festival, which will be held through tomorrow in the outskirts of Zayed City, southwest of Abu Dhabi.   (AP Photo/ Manuel Salazar)
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(Newser) – A Dubai prince broke the bank yesterday at an Abu Dhabi event billed as the world's top camel festival, spending $2.7 million on a prize-winning female. That was a record—until an Abu Dhabi sheik outdid him, shelling out $7 million for a pair of racing camels, RIA Novosti reports. The more expensive of that duo was also a contest winner.

Fine camels are a mark of wealth and power in the Persian Gulf, and are often used for racing. The Mazayin Dhafra Camel Festival is intended to celebrate the United Arab Emirates’ Bedouin traditions, and has as its centerpiece a camel beauty contest. More than 17,000 camels competed this year, in categories such as best neck, best lips, and best hump.