2024: Year of the Camel

In recognition of their profound cultural value across the Arabian Peninsula – from the dawn of history to the present day – Saudi Arabia has declared 2024 the ‘Year of the Camel’. AlUla in particular has long been synonymous with these incredible ‘ships of the desert’, having played a vital role in transportation, trade and everyday life for many centuries. This year-long celebration provides a unique opportunity to pay homage to the powerful bond and shared history between humans and camels – and their enduring legacy in AlUla.

At the heart of the Year of the Camel festivities is the second edition of the eagerly anticipated AlUla Camel Cup. The success of last year’s inaugural edition saw the AlUla Camel Cup emerge as the ‘Pinnacle of Camel Racing’. This year it is scheduled to take place between 24-27 April against the backdrop of AlUla's breathtaking desert landscape and alongside ‘Year of the Camel’ celebrations. Instantly established as the world’s most prestigious camel racing event, it again promises to be a thrilling showcase of speed, skill and tradition. Top camels from across the region are prepared to compete, honing their abilities and speed.

Alongside an exciting programme of cultural experiences and entertainment, the event will honour the rich tradition of camel racing in the Kingdom and wider region throughout its run – showcasing this cherished homegrown heritage sport to local and international audiences. The four-day event will be held at AlUla’s Mughayra Heritage Sports Village, where the region’s fastest camels are gearing up to compete for substantial prize pots and exquisitely designed AlUla Camel Cup trophies.

Coinciding with the United Nations' designation of 2024 as the International Year of Camelids, the ‘Year of the Camel’ also underscores the region’s commitment to preserving its cultural heritage and promoting sustainable tourism. Similarly, AlUla’s iconic Camel Cup race stands as a landmark event for the celebration of its history and as an inspiration for a new generation of travellers to explore the region and experience its timeless traditions and ancient legacy firsthand.

As AlUla prepares to host the Camel Cup, it stands ready to welcome visitors from around the world to be immersed in the magic of AlUla's cultural heritage. By revitalising its cultural landscape through such events, AlUla continues to cement its position as a uniquely fascinating destination. One where the legacy of the past and future innovation converge – and where the camel endures as a steadfast symbol of resilience, adaptation and survival. 

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