Yesterday I went to Dhafra Camel Festival Abu Dhabi. It was only open for 10 days. Im considered lucky to have the opportunity to see the camel festival during my stay here.
The festival is in Madinat Zayed. It took us about 2 hours to reach there. It was a long journey. There is nothing much to look out during the journey. On the right and left side of the road is only the desert. And there was no Rest n Relax too; there are only few petrol stations. As in Malaysia, there is a lot of stopping place for the long journey drivers.
After about 2 hours driving, we finally arrive at the Camel Festival. The area was so big!! We can see the camel walking around with their owner. We are almost lost here. There are signboards. But guess what?! All of it is in Arabic!! How they aspect the tourist like us to read these signboard? But lucky almost all of the policeman can speak English. =).. Later, I come to know, that this part of UAE is where the Bedouin stay. They do not speak English. They stay at the outskirt of the country.
There are almost Arab men here. There are hardly any women. After asking the policeman, we headed to the Camel beauty contest. At first we sit under the canopy did not know what to do. Then a man comes to serve the tea to us. It is the custom of the Arabs to serve the tea or coffee to the guess. If we go to the museum, they will do the same too. ( I think I had 2 cups of tea and a cup of coffee) We can hardly see the camels here coz the camel are in the cage and the cage are quit far away.
Later, we ask the police if we can go inside the cage to take photos. Luckily they allow us to enter the cage. The moral of the story, if you did not know something, ask for it. You might be happy with the answer.. =)
We go inside and take a lot of picture as we will not get this experience else where. By the way it is almost noon at this time. Can you imagine how hot it is??
After this, we went to see the market by the street. We go around this market with the car coz it is big and hot too. They only sell the ornament for the camels to where. Most of these shops are closed for the Jumaat prayer. Some of the shops are even left unattended. No one is even bothered to steal. This is one of amusing fact that I like about UAE. People don’t steal here. I think coz of the enforcement is quit strict here.
We saw a heritage market and decided to in there. There are a lot of the traditional things such as the carpet that is handmade. Owh the price is so expensive. I bought the henna for the nail as it smells nice. It is Dhs 5. It is the normal price here I guess. They also sell traditional Arabic cup uses to serve the guess. This is expensive too. We just window shopping after realizing all of the stuff are expensive.
Soon, it is lunch time. We went to this one small stall selling Egyptian food called kushari. It is so NICE!! It is so unbelievable.. The owner was just a 10 year old girl. She is so cute, nice and cleaver girl I must admit. The food is being cooked by her mother and she looks after the stall with 2 of her nannies – Utopian ladies. It is rice mix with the pasta and serve with something look like the grave of the spaghetti. I wonder why she must still open the stall if the family already owns 2 houses =).. We eat inside the stall had a chit chat with the girl. She is quit talkative as she is the one that only talk as 3 of us are the loyal listeners. Owh im surprise that she can talk English. This is coz she stays in Abu Dhabi town and only opens the stall here.
Then we asked her, where is the camel racing and she showed us the way. We are just on time for the camel racing. (There are certain times of the day that they have camel racing) the camel racing was fun. There is a big lane for the camels to race. And there is also a lane for the cars. When the camels start to run, the big four wheel drive will also follow the camels and they will horn their car. May be the camels will run faster when they hear the horn. I have not seen this in my life before!! Not only the camels run, but the owners or the onlookers are driving fast to follow the camels. And there are the specific lane for the cars too at the right and left side of the camels lane.. This is really a great experience to me!! =) in case if all of you wonder how it look like, you can search at the You Tube.
About 4pm, we decided to go back. All of us are tired but had a great experience too. Another 2 hours of the nothing-great-to-see journey.. We stop at the petrol station to pay and buy some snack. We arrived home at about 6pm. I just ate my favorite bun and go straight to the room.
P/s: I love my stay here in Abu Dhabi, except for the working days.. huhu quit not like it. But im still managing. Im covering or discovering the whole UAE in my stay here. Im lucky to have the opportunity to discover all of the culture and heritage in the Middle East. What are we going to do next week as my roommate will go back to Malaysia for holiday.. She is the one that always suggesting all the good place to visit!!