Qatar officials insist camel beauty contestants are cosmetic surgery free

The FIFA World Cup 2022 Qatar is not the only prestigious competition taking place in the Arab state. Camels from several Gulf states are strutting their stuff on the catwalk at the Qatar Camel Mzayen Club beauty contest in Ash-Shahaniyah.

But tournament officials in Ash-Shahaniyah, Qatar, are on the alert over alleged cheating after a similar competition in Saudi Arabia last year saw 43 camels expelled for using botox and other cosmetic surgery enhancements.

President of the Qatar Camel Mzayen club, Hamad Jaber al-Athba, revealed the idea is similar to the FIFA World Cup.

“We have participants from the Gulf Cooperation Council, we have big names and today is the fifth day of the tournament.

“The characteristics to measure the beauty of a camel differ from one group to another. For instance, black camels are judged according to the size of the body and the head and the location of the ears. But for the Maghateer-type camel, we look for proportionality and the ears should be dropping down, not standing straight.

“In addition to the way the mouth is curved. As far as the Asel are concerned, they have special characteristics. The location of the ears is important, there should be a delicacy in the bones, the hooves, so there are characteristics that need more detail.”

The exotic animals compete in different categories according to their age and breed. But organisers are keeping their eyes open for any cheating.

In December last year, 43 contestants were disqualified from a beauty contest in Saudi Arabia after organisers discovered the camels had been tampered with by breeders, and some of them had Botox injections.

The 40-day King Abdulaziz Camel Festival, located about 100 kilometres northeast of the capital, Riyadh, saw breeders compete for more than US$66 million in prize money so the stakes were high.

Breeders were accused of injecting silicone and fillers and inflating body parts using rubber bands to enhance their appearance.

The owners of winning camels receive cash prizes, and the recognition means they can sell the animals for higher prices.

Rare camels are big business and an estimated 1.5 million of the animals are protected by their owners using microchips, according to SPA.

To combat any cheating at the Qatar Camel Mzayen Club beauty contest organisers will x-ray camels to prove they were not surgically improved before a beauty pageant winner is crowned.

Qatar officials insist camel beauty contestants are cosmetic surgery free | News by Thaiger
Camel Beauty Contest in Ash-Shahaniyah, Qatar – November 29. Pictures courtesy of Reuters/Suhaib Salem

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Bob Scott

Bob Scott is an experienced writer and editor with a passion for travel. Born and raised in Newcastle, England, he spent more than 10 years in Asia. He worked as a sports writer in the north of England and London before relocating to Asia. Now he resides in Bangkok, Thailand, where he is the Editor-in-Chief for The Thaiger English News. With a vast amount of experience from living and writing abroad, Bob Scott is an expert on all things related to Asian culture and lifestyle.

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