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DiplomaticQuarter: EU ambassador to Saudi Arabia visits King Abdulaziz Camel Festival

RIYADH: The EU ambassador to Saudi Arabia, Patrick Simonnet, recently visited the King Abdulaziz Camel Festival, which is being held in the northeast of Riyadh.

The ambassador toured the festival and learned about the vision of the Camel Club, which is organizing the event with the aim of expanding the camel sector.

Simonnet praised the festival’s activities and arrangements and applauded the efforts being made to preserve Arab heritage.

He tweeted: “Truly amazing time at the King Abdul Aziz Camel Festival. Congratulations @CamelClub for a great organization.”

He told Arab News on Monday: “I had the pleasure of visiting the King Abdulaziz Camel Festival. Camels play a significant role in Saudi Arabia’s heritage and culture. A marvelous and great work has been done by the organizers to serve this great ancient heritage. I had the most remarkable cultural experience.”

EU Ambassador Patrick Simonnet gets a ride in the desert while visiting the King Abdul Aziz Camel Festival. (AN Photo by Rashid Hassan)

Festival administrator Saeed bin Rashid tweeted: “European Union Ambassador during his visit to the festival has left lots of positive comments regarding the camel history and its long relations with humans at the historical camel exhibition of the festival. Happy to meet your excellency.”

The camel festival is an annual cultural, sports, and entertainment event. It is accompanied by a series of activities, racing competitions, and camel beauty pageants.

Camel racing dates to the pre-Islamic era, and the tradition of producing the strongest, fastest, and most beautiful camels continues to this day.

A healthy racing camel can run up to 40 kilometers in one hour and requires little water, so while these creatures run at a slower speed than horses their endurance is second to none.

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Last year, the festival’s administration planted 6,500 trees throughout the venue to beautify the area and improve the environment.

The event is being held in accordance with COVID-19 guidelines and social distancing measures.


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