Under the patronage of His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, President of the UAE, the 17th edition of Al Dhafra Festival’s final stage will take place from 20 January until 8 February 2024 in Madinat Zayed, Al Dhafra Region.

The event is organised by the Cultural Programs and Heritage Festivals Committee in collaboration with Emirates Heritage Club.

The organising committee of the Al Dhafra Festival is committed to highlighting the significant role of camels in the culture and heritage of the UAE and the GCC countries through camel beauty competitions held in Abu Dhabi. This initiative is evident during the camel mazayna season, dedicated to the celebration of purebred breeds such as asayel, majaheem, asayel hybrid, and wadh. The festival also extends its support to enthusiasts participating in falcon competitions, purebred Arabian horses, shooting competitions, and various other events.

The final stage of the 17th Al Dhafra Festival will showcase the organisation of the Camel Mazayna along with a range of competitions and accompanying heritage events. These include camel milking competitions, Arabian horse race, traditional Arabian saluki race, falcon beauty pageant and Arabian saluki beauty contest. The event also features a shooting competition, Al Naim sheep beauty pageant, date mazayna and date packaging competition, sour milk contest, and camel sitting competition, in addition to numerous other heritage and cultural activities.

Since its inaugural edition in 2008, Al Dhafra Festival has been graced by the patronage of His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, President of the UAE. This enduring support has laid the groundwork for safeguarding the UAE’s cultural heritage, ensuring its preservation, and passing it on to the generations to come.

This commitment follows the path set by the late Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan, the UAE’s Founding Father, who instilled in generations a deep appreciation for heritage and a sense of pride in customs and traditions.

The festival aims to unify the standards, terms and conditions, and intensify efforts to achieve success in the camel beauty contests, encourage greater participation of camel owners in the competitions, preserve the purebred camel breeds, boost camel trade, contribute to the development of domestic and Gulf tourism and stimulate economic activity.

It also aims to showcase the region and solidify Abu Dhabi’s status as a leading destination for camel beauty pageants and a regional and global platform for heritage events. The festival seeks to highlight and revive the Emirati and Arab heritage through camel beauty competitions, convey UAE’s civilisational and humanitarian message to the world, and promote the values of loyalty and belonging through the practice of authentic Emirati heritage.