The UAE's camel beauty pageant

Updated 9:58 PM ET, Thu March 7, 2013
1 of 5
The Al-Dhafra Camel Festival in the western region of the United Arab Emirates is a celebration of the ancient bond between humans and the "ships of the desert." KARIM SAHIB/AFP/Getty Images/FILE
The event is intended to help preserve purebred camel lines of the region, including the light-skinned asayal, pictured here. KARIM SAHIB/AFP/Getty Images/File
Men prepare a dark-brown majaheem camel for exhibition while its fellow competitors look on. The animals are rated according to criteria including firmness of ear, straightness of leg, the size of their toe cleft and neck length. KARIM SAHIB/AFP/Getty Images/FILE
With considerable prestige is attached to owning a prize-winning camel, camel owners come from all over the region to attend. KARIM SAHIB/AFP/Getty Images/FILE
The festival is intended as a way of preserving aspects of Bedouin cultural heritage that face the threat of being lost as the Emirates continues to rapidly modernize. KARIM SAHIB/AFP/Getty Images/FILE