18 March 2004

Finally some camels

Where Fiver is desperate to see camels, being in the Middle East and all, but misses every opportunity to capture them on camera - until now.

Ever since we knew we knew we were coming here Fiver has been driving everyone crazy with her desire to "see camels!!!". They seemed to her the epitome of Middle Eastern exoticism. On the first visit we even saw some on our orientation tour through Dubai, which included a drive past the camel racetrack. There they were, elegant, aloof and leggy, a group of young race camels being led by a trainer along the track. What things of beauty! Golden-coloured, with an arrogant look, they have the same attitude of regality Fiver loves so much in cats.

But there was no camera to hand, and neither was she ready at the next opportunity when we drove past a group of wild camels grazing along the country road towards Fujairah. Very disappointing, specially now that the official camel racing season is over, there will presumably be less chances to see them round Dubai.

The best we have to offer, therefore, is a selection of pictures of fibreglass camel statues which are dotted around the city as part of a sponsored exhibition. Each represents a different business (from Emirates Airlines to Swiss chocolate maker Lindt) and is painted by a nominated artist, with varying success. Some are quite funny (snowboarding camel with big boots, a winged camel disguised as a bee) while others are just pretty.




A short note to reply to the enquiry regarding what kind of animal these camels are: As it turns out the whole issue of dromedaries having one hump and camels having two is a language issue. The animal is called Dromedary Camel (Camelus Dromedarius), while "the name "Dromedary" is properly reserved for the Arabian racing camel such as those used in the various military camel corps." (www.oaklandzoo.org) That should clear it up. All camels we have seen so far are single-humped.

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