Camel and Horse Racing: the Emirate’s Favourites

The United Arab Emirates have come a long way when it comes to sports. The country is so new that their participation in major world sporting tournaments has barely even been noticed, but it has recently garnered attention as they have allowed women participate in Olympic Games - as was the case in the ones hosted in London in 2012. However, not many women athletes have left the UAE to continue a career elsewhere. It has mostly been men that have succeeded abroad in sports. It’s hard to pinpoint a specific sport to the country, however, amongst their popular ones are camel racing (you read that right), and horse racing. It is the latter that has brought a prominent athlete to London. Saeed bin Suroor was born in Dubai but has succeeded in his discipline in the United Kingdom.

Since 1995, he has overseen Godolphin’s training of racing horses and has won major competitions and championships since his arrival in Britain. In fact, globally, he has garnered over 2,000 (you also read that right) race wins! His time is spent between his native Dubai and Newmarket in England, spending six months in each place. Like Bin Suroor, other Emirati athletes and sportspeople have proven that the country has what it takes to make it big on international grounds. However, successful Emirati athletes tend to reside in their country of origin.

Their sports, however, have extended to UK territory. Such is the case with Camel Racing (above mentioned as one of the popular sports of the UAE), which has found its way into English territory over the past few years. In 2009, a camel race took place to determine the winner that would perform at halftime during a Rugby union game. Since then, plenty of camel races have been spotted across the country. Emirati states continue to promote their sporting culture through the embassies, often hosting events to show off the national sport. Every year, Northaw hosts a camel racing event for Brits to connect with this fun sport from a unique culture.