AlUla Camel Cup, the thrilling camel racing sport, returns next month

The second edition promises an exhilarating fusion of sport, culture, and entertainment alongside ‘Year of the Camel’ celebrations…

The camel racing season is galloping back stronger than ever this year, with the iconic AlUla Camel Cup next month. If you’ve never gotten a chance to witness camel racing in Saudi Arabia, the pinnacle of camel racing returns to the ancient oasis for a second edition from Wednesday April 24 to Saturday April 27.

AlUla Camel Cup

Organised by the Royal Commission for AlUla (RCU) in collaboration with the Saudi Camel Racing Federation (SCRF), the AlUla Camel Cup is back with a series of adrenaline-fuelled races and intriguing activities fusing sport, culture, and entertainment.

The four-day event will be live from AlUla’s Mughayra Heritage Sports Village and feature several rounds of elite competition. Substantial prize pots and one-of-a-kind trophy crafted from sterling silver and a 24-carat gold plate will be awarded.

AlUla Camel Cup trophy

If you’d like to get a taste of one of the region’s oldest sports, cheering on these magnificent animals, here’s what you can expect at the AlUla Camel Cup next month.

Check out the Heritage Village

This trackside venue will offer visitors plenty of space for leisure and relaxation, including restaurants and food stalls, a qafila-style retail experience, and grandstand seating. Last year, it hosted various music and artistic shows, while craft workshops provided hands-on, camel-themed fun for visitors of all ages.

Be one of the chic onlookers

A highlight of the social calendar, the AlUla Camel Cup is the place to see, be seen, and dress your best. An on-site fashion boutique meant you could add to your wardrobe, too. What’s more, branded merch by Saudi Bronx – the first and only American camel racing team owned by Swizz Beatz – brought some NYC street style to the mix.

Camel racing goes long down history

AlUla Camel Cup

The abundance of camel carvings etched into the area’s ancient rock witness the pivotal role these iconic ‘ships of the desert’ have played in AlUla’s storied past. With origins dating back to the 7th century, camel racing is an ancient heritage sport woven into the fabric of the culture and traditions. Against the stunning heritage sites of AlUla, the AlUla Camel Cup stands as a thrilling spectacle.

Moreover, with 2024 inaugurated as the ‘Year of the Camel’ to celebrate their cultural significance, enduring community connection, and esteemed status in Saudi society, this year’s tournament will honour this legacy, serving as a unique sporting celebration accessible to all.

Year of Camel celebrations

The success of last year’s inaugural edition saw the AlUla Camel Cup emerge as the pinnacle of camel racing, attracting 2,550 visitors.

Rami Almoallim, vice president of the Destination Marketing & Management Office, RCU, commented, “Last year’s fabulous first edition was a perfect example of how camel racing today remains an enduring thread connecting the past to the present and present. This rich history will be embraced again with an event that mirrors the essence of our people, their passions, and their memories whilst showcasing the timeless significance of camels in our society.”

Tickets for the AlUla Camel Cup will be announced in due course, so watch this space when we have more details.

AlUla Camel Cup, Apr 24 to 27, Mughayra Heritage Sports Village.

Images: Supplied / @experiencealula