Emirati brothers each win 7.5m riyals at AlUla Camel Cup

Victorious owners also lift silver trophy and 24-carat gold plate at sport's blue chip event

Alula winners with Saudi Interior Minister Prince Abdulaziz bin Saud bin Naif.
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Two Emirati brothers won the final of AlUla Camel Cup, the pinnacle of camel racing, each pocketing 7.5 million Saudi riyals.

One brother's camel won the “Heil” race and the other took victory in the “Zmoul” event.

The four-day cup was held under the patronage of Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, Chairman of the Royal Commission for AlUla.

Each winner was presented with a specially designed trophy crafted from hallmark sterling silver and a 24-carat gold plate with images of camels, designed by London-based luxury silversmith Thomas Lyte.

Hundreds of hours of work and 27 people were involved in the process in one of the largest silver workshops in Europe.

In the 8km “Zmoul” race — for male camels over the age of six — Mubher, a camel owned by Emirati Hamad Al Katbi, secured the first win on the final day.

In the “Heil” race — also over 8km and for female camels over the age of six — his brother Saeed Al Katbi won with Fabrakah.

Mohammed Al Katbi, the elder brother of the two winning owners, said the experience was “priceless” and dedicated the win to “the kingdom, its leadership, amazing people and the reception, hospitality and generosity from the organisers of the AlUla Camel Cup”.

“They have made us feel at home — and we are at home because of the strong ties between us,” he said.

“AlUla Camel Cup has the highest prize pots per run of camel racing, but our real win is being among our brothers and being here with our brothers from the kingdom in this beautiful land. Putting all that together is priceless.”

The race was organised at AlUla to highlight the kingdom's rich cultural heritage.

The AlUla Camel Racing Venue also has a Heritage Village with traditional arts and crafts, fashion, retail, dining and entertainment.

“The AlUla Camel Cup has paid spectacular homage to the traditional sport of camel racing, which has been a feature on Saudi Arabian soil since the seventh century,” said Amr Al Madani, CEO of the Royal Commission for AlUla.

“It is a beloved pastime — a national sporting treasure — that has become etched in the culture and heritage of the kingdom.”

Saudi singer Rabeh Saqer performed at the closing ceremony on Friday night. The final was attended by Mohammed Al Turki, CEO of the Red Sea International Film Festival, Phillip Jones, chief tourism officer for RCU, Oscar winning actor Will Smith and Grammy Award-winning music producer Swizz Beatz.

Will Smith and Swizz Beatz attend the AlUla Camel Cup. Photo: Instagram / Swizz Beatz
Updated: March 19, 2023, 12:30 PM