20 things to know about camels in Qatar
Qatar is historically known for its attachment to camels which are of social and economic value in the region. Camels in Qatar were a dependable source of not only transport but also food and milk.
The name ‘camel’ has an Arabic translation meaning ‘beauty.’ The Arabic culture regards the camel highly. In fact, they have 160 words that refer to camels alone.
Arabs are proud of the number of camels they possessed. The owning of camels eventually promulgated into the prestige of owning the most competitive one. That is when the tradition of camel racing started. Today, Qatar’s camel races at the renowned Al Shahaniya Camel Racing Track are considered one of the most prestigious in the region.
Here are some interesting facts about camel in Qatar
- Camel’s eyelashes consist of two long rows for protection over their eyes. Camels also have a clear third eyelid as another protective layer from blowing sand.
- Camels can carry 375-600 lbs or 170-270 kgs on their backs.
- A fully grown adult camel stands 1.85 meters (6 feet) at the shoulder and 2.15 meters (7 feet) at the hump. Camels can run up to 65 kilometers per hour (40 miles per hour) in short bursts and sustain speeds of up to 40 kilometers per hour (25 miles per hour).
- The average life span of a camel is 30 to 60 years.
- Camels aren't picky about what they eat. Camels are herbivores, so you won't find them eating meat.
- Camels drink 30 gallons of water within 13 minutes. However, during the summer months when the temperature rises above 110°F or 37°Camels can only last about five days with their poorly hydrated stamina.
- The pregnancy of female camels lasts for 12-14 months depending on resources. After that, a mother camel would find a private spot wherein she would have her young. They usually only give birth to one baby with a rare occurrence of twins being born.
- Camels are very social, even though they might seem extremely laid-back and slow. In the wild, they travel with around 30 others when looking for food.
- Ever wondered why a camel’s mouth seems to be split into two? This helps them to graze and eat their food more effectively.
- A camel’s nostrils are amazing. They retain water vapor which can be returned to the body when necessary, but they can also be closed if there is too much sand or wind blowing.
- When upset or angry, camels spit out a combination of saliva and stomach juices which can be very smelly, so be careful not to anger or upset them.
- Camel meat is one of the healthiest of meats available with no cholesterol and very little fat. It is a much-loved meat in Qatar.
- Camel hide is very strong, sturdy, and superior in quality so it is used to make a number of different products like shoes, bags, and clothes.
- They have oval-shaped red blood cells that keep their blood flow continuously even when there is water scarcity.
- Camels became domesticated due to them being sources of meat, milk, leather, and wool.
- While Asian camels are known for their two humps, Arabian camels have just one. a lot of people think it's water. But it's certainly not; what's inside a camel's hump is its fat, and it's fat nourishes them when they're on long journeys.
- Each hump can store up to 36 kilograms of it, which can sustain the camel for weeks or even months without food.
- In Arab cultures the camel symbolises patience, tolerance and endurance.
- Camels’ ears are small and hairy. However their sense of hearing is also extremely strong.
- Camels are also named as ‘ship of the desert.’
Desert Farms, a company that sells camel fat, says that just 1 tablespoon contains 40% of your daily vitamin B12 needs and three times the amount of oleic acid than coconut oil, a superfood staple.
Camel racing at Al-Shahaniya racing track, located one hour's drive north of downtown Doha, is in full swing from November to February during this period, domestic and international tournaments are held.
Even if there are no races, visitors are welcome to stop by the track every day at 9:30 am or around 5:30 pm when the camels are taken to the arena for practice.
Around the racetrack, there is a virtual camel city and visitors are welcome to visit nearby camel stables.
Although there is shaded seating in the grandstand, visitors can do as locals do and follow the race by driving their cars along the paved road which runs parallel to the 10-km track.
To get there from Doha, take the Al Rayyan road and drive West until the Al-Rayyan football stadium, at which point the road changes its name into Dukhan Highway. Keep driving west for about an hour. The track is well sign posted.
For more info, check out the Camel Organizing Committee’s website.
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Source: National geographic
Correct ........... Been there ..... done that ......... my favourite guys ..............
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