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AlUla Camel Cup to combine modern and ancient and celebrate an animal intrinsic to the cultural and sporting fabric of Arabia

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AlUla Camel Cup to combine modern and ancient and celebrate an animal intrinsic to the cultural and sporting fabric of Arabia

The AlUla Camel Cup will combine modern and ancient life while celebrating the incredible feats of an animal intrinsic to the cultural and sporting fabric of Arabia, organizers of the inaugural tournament said today.
Held under the patronage of His Royal Highness the Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud, Chairman of the Royal Commission for AlUla (RCU), the inaugural AlUla Camel Cup will take place from March 14-17, 2023 with a grand prize pool of SAR80 million. A ‘Champion of Champions’ will be crowned at a much-awaited event marking the pinnacle of camel racing in Saudi Arabia this season.
More than 40 of the region’s finest racing camels have qualified for the AlUla Camel Cup, organized by the Royal Commission for AlUla (RCU) as part of the AlUla Moments calendar in collaboration with the Saudi Camel Racing Federation (SCRF).
With the highest prize pots in the world per round of camel racing, the tournament will feature a Marathon of 6 rounds with a prize pool of SAR960,000 per round, a series of ‘Heritage Races’ made up of 8 rounds with a total prize pool of SAR51.2 million, and 2 rounds of ‘Elite Races’ offering a prize pool of SAR12 million each.
AlUla, a place of extraordinary human and natural heritage, was one of the main stops along the ancient Incense Road and pilgrimage routes. Be it rock art or figurines, depictions of camels dot the landscape of this stunningly beautiful part of Saudi Arabia, illustrating the unique human animal relationship that continues to be so important to the region’s people nowadays.
Phillip Jones, Chief Tourism Officer, Royal Commission for AlUla said: “To be in AlUla is to witness how special and everlasting the relationship between camel and the region is – indeed, the camel is so synonymous with Arabia as to act as a symbol of the land itself.
“The AlUla Camel Cup honors the long-revered sport of camel racing at the most apt of locations in the Kingdom and is a fitting tribute ‘to the ships of the desert’ and the incredible feats they can achieve.
“Hosting the inaugural event marks another milestone for AlUla as a destination and one we are immensely looking forward to fulfilling.”
Mahmoud Suleiman Albalawi, Executive Director of SCRF, said: “Since the 7th Century, the sport of camel racing has enthralled people across Saudi Arabia, embedding itself as a national pastime in the rich history of the Kingdom.
“When the idea for this illustrious event was originally conceived, the fusion of ancient and modern in honoring the magnificent camel and our esteemed homegrown sport in the extraordinary setting of AlUla held great appeal. As Saudi Arabia opens to the world, it is vital that traditions held so dear continue to be passed down from generation to generation as the country progresses. The AlUla Camel Cup certainly helps achieve that.”
The AlUla Camel Cup is about more than sport. The event will host an arts-filled evening featuring global and local stars performing across music, art, and more as well as a Heritage Village offering a curated retail offer and AlUla-inspired food and handicrafts.
Embracing AlUla’s distinctive desert-glam style, the AlUla Camel Cup will also be an opportunity for fashionistas to showcase their individual style befitting of the warm days and cool evenings of winter in AlUla. The AlUla Camel Cup brings together ancient and modern, sport and culture, elemental and opulent.
AlUla Camel Cup is one of the flagship sports events of AlUla Moments 2023 calendar of events and festivals, which includes five major festivals and six marque events. Other sports events taking place in AlUla are ‘The Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques Endurance Cup in AlUla 2023’ (March 4), ‘AlUla Trail Race’ (took place on February 23 and 24), and the ‘Saudi Tour’ (took place from January 30 – February 3).
In-depth details of each day at the AlUla Camel Cup, and activities surrounding the event, will be released in due course. Single day tickets for AlUla Camel Cup, priced at SAR 50, are now available at https://tickets.experiencealula.com/en/experiences/alula-camel-cup-pass