Abu Dhabi to Host 'Miss Camel' Beauty Pageant

Camels to be rated on grace of their necks and shape of their noses; 24,000 camels competed last year.

Thousands of camels from around the Arab world will bat their long eyelashes and show off their humps at Abu Dhabi's "Miss Camel" beauty pageant next month, organizers said on Wednesday.

"It will be the largest gathering of camels in one place ever," organizers of the 2010 al-Dhafra Festival said.

The Gulf's leading camel connoisseurs will critically observe as camel after camel struts down a catwalk at the festival, which is sponsored by the Abu Dhabi Authority for Culture and Heritage.

They will rate the animals on such criteria as the grace of their necks, the shape of their noses and the style of their hair.

With more than 10 million dollars in prizes up for grabs, the competition is serious business for camel owners.

More than 24,000 camels competed for the title of "most beautiful camel" last year.

New this year is a prize for the camel that produces the most milk. Organizers said this category should encourage camel keepers to acquire more milking camels.

The sole prerequisite for camel owners wishing to partake in the competition is that their camels be clean and disease-free.