Past and present meet in the middle of the desert. They came in their hundreds from as far as Nejd, the heart of Saudi kingdom, and Dhofar, the last lands of Oman before it borders with Yemen. They came in caravans, huge jeeps and trucks, one after another, loaded with camping gear and, of course, their most precious cargo - their camels.
For 20 days they set camp at the desert of Al Gharbia, the Western Region of Abu Dhabi Emirate, just like in the old days. It was a revival of the bedouin traditions, with more than 1500 camel owners and dozens of thousands of animals coming together for Al Dhafra Festival. Spontaneous celebrations always followed the camel beauty contests, parades erupting at the “Million Street”, the desert campsite area around the main event locations.
The proud owners kept dancing in circles in the middle of the road, loud music and cheering everywhere, with the winning camels always at the centre of the stage, dressed in shiny fabrics and ornaments. Standing still in the middle of all this chaos, one realizes that these men celebrate the simple fact that they are here and now, alive on earth.