New Netflix series Camel Quest pays homage to Saudi Arabia's prized mammal

Six-episode unscripted show takes viewers on a trip across the kingdom

Omar Almaeena, left, and Safwan Modir on the set of their Netflix series Camel Quest. Photo: SaffwOmzz
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A new unscripted docuseries which gives viewers an insight into the important role camels play in Saudi culture has debuted on Netflix.

Told through the eyes of two childhood friends, Safwan Modir and Omar Almaeena, the six-episode Camel Quest takes the pair on a journey across Saudi Arabia as they attempt to make it to the world-famous Crown Prince Camel Festival.

Along the way, they discover the mammals link to Saudi history and heritage while learning more about their country.

Launched in 2018, the Crown Prince Camel Festival is the largest of its kind in the world. Held over one month, more than 12 countries participated in last year's event, competing in more than 700 rounds of competition including speed, good looks and breeding. More than $14 million (Dh52m) worth of prizes were up for grabs.

Modir and Alameena, who also run their own YouTube channel under the name Saff W Omzz, describe their Netflix series as “a delightful blend of humour, friendship and cultural exploration”.

“Camel Quest is all about our bonds with the cherished camels,” Modir said. It is storytelling at its best, as we hold viewers spellbound by our spontaneous dialogues and stories about camels, while taking them on an epic journey covering the most spectacular sites in Saudi Arabia.”

For Almaeena, the show has been a life-long passion. “We aspire to make a positive contribution to all the new things happening in Saudi Arabia,” he said.

Camel Quest is the second high-profile project from Saudi Arabia to feature camels in a starring role. Hajjan, a film by Palme d'Or-nominated Egyptian director Abu Bakr Shawky, also premiered last month.

It tells the story of a young Saudi boy named Matar (Omar Alatawi), who forms an unbreakable bond with his camel Hofira. The pair set out on a journey to rise to the top of the historic world of camel racing and live up to Omar's family's legacy.

Saudi Arabia's ministry of culture has designated 2024 as the year of the camel “to celebrate the unique cultural value represented by camels”.

“In 2024, we celebrate the camel as a highly valued cultural symbol, a key pillar of our authentic national identity, and a source of pride in every stage and domain,” said minister of culture Bader bin Abdullah bin Farhan Al Saud.

Updated: February 05, 2024, 4:47 PM