The Camel Market at Al Ain will enthral any visitor to the United Arab Emirates. The last remaining market of its nature in the UAE, this souk (traditional marketplace) is devoted to the ship of the desert, the camel. You will also see other livestock here, such as sheep and goats. The entire scene evokes memories of times past, with the camels and other livestock separated into pens. The visitor will be able to see local residents and other Emiratis bringing in animals in pickup trucks, anticipating a session of intense bargaining.
The visitor will soon be able to identify the different kinds of camels on sale here. The camels reared for show are black, and show their lineage in their refined appearance. On the other hand those bred for racing can be identified by their tan colour, long legs and slim hips. The bull camels used for breeding are massive, sturdily built and of a feisty temperament. The ordinary female camels used for milk may be distinguished by their rounded bellies. Perhaps the most attractive of all are the baby camels, some of them so young they can barely walk.
Visitors will see Emiratis in their spotless dishdasas (traditional attire) and designer sunglasses examine the livestock and load fresh purchases into the back of trucks. Meanwhile the camel handlers, many in salwar kameez, sit amongst their merchandise, keen to befriend visitors and secure a sale. Many of the camel handlers are from far-off lands, such as Afghanistan, and are well-versed in the rearing of camels.
Al Ain also has other attractions that will draw the interest of the visitor. Jebel Hafeet is the second highest mountain in the UAE, and is encircled by flat expanses so that it provides sensational panoramic views. Another natural attraction is the Al Ain Oasis, which features a vast number of date palms. Narrow pathways pass through the area, which may be driven on by motor vehicle, or traversed on foot.
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