Saudi Arabia Hosts AlUla Camel Cup With Prizes Worth Over $21 million for Grabs

The AlUla Camel Cup is Saudi Arabia’s biggest and most expensive race as it has a prize pool of over $21 million. Camel owners and breeders from different parts of the world gathered in the middle of the arid desert of AlUla, on March 14 – 17, to compete.

Camel Cup, an annual camel racing

Up for grabs was also the AlUla Camel Cup trophy, crafted from sterling silver and  24-carat gold plate, which is touted as a piece of art. Experts at Thomas Lyte, the renowned goldsmiths and silversmiths and Royal Warrant Holders to Her Majesty the Queen, England, have incorporated designs of the region’s beauty, featuring camels, rock art and depictions of AlUla’s landscape.

Will Smith and Swizz Beatz attend the AlUla Camel Cup?
Source: Instagram / Swizz Beatz

The race had the likes of Hollywood celebrity Will Smith attending the event. The Men in Black actor was spotted cheering on Swizz Beatz, a Grammy-winning record producer, who is the first American to own a camel racing team in Saudi Arabia. Twitter was splashed with the duo’s pictures enjoying Arabic coffee.

Camel Cup, an annual camel racing

Beatz, who is married to renowned American singer Alicia Keys, said it’s amazing. “To be a part of this with my team is amazing, not only being the first American team in the history of the sport and federation, but to be part of history here in AlUla for the biggest cup, the biggest prize. We came in fifth place today, alhumdulliah (thank God) top five, we’re going to work up to be number one, In Sha Allah (God willing).”

The AlUla Camel Cup is part and parcel of the kingdom’s efforts to transform the country’s economy and society. Saudi Arabia is working towards diversifying its revenue, that not being dependent on oil – fossil fuel.

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Nandika Chand