The “ship of the Desert” is what we’ve known camels as, since childhood, and the best place to catch a glimpse of these magnificent creatures is the Al Ain Camel Market. This is an auction house for livestock, and a very popular one at that, even if you are not a buyer. The Al Ain Camel Market is home to camels suitable for racing, logistics, transportation, as well as breeding, making it one of the most interesting places to see in Al Ain!
Al Ain Camel Market – A glimpse into Emirati Culture
Understanding the importance of camels in the Emirati way of life is sort of understanding half of Emirati culture, and there is no better way to gain this experience than by visiting a camel market in UAE. The animals, although kept in captivity, are treated fairly lavishly and are not made to suffer unnecessarily. Food and water abound them, and a small ritual takes places before the new buyer takes them home. Sometimes it can be a little sad to see the animals feeling distressed on being taken away by someone new, however, the animals soon get used to their new surroundings.
The Al Ain Camel Market is not just a place for haggling over the purchase and sales of camels, but also of a variety of other animals, such as sheep, goats, and bulls. There are mock races held here among the goats and sheep, and you can also get your photo taken with a cute little baby camel. Travelers with kids should definitely visit this market and enjoy a bit of the “country air” that Al Ain promises.
The Al Ain Camel Market is equally important for budding animal breeders so that they can get to know a particular race of animal before agreeing to buy and breed it. Sometimes, little kids can be seen with their fathers, trying to understand the seriousness of the work that goes behind a large-scale animal breeding operation; but on most occasions the kids can be seen frolicking around with the animals themselves.
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How to reach Al Ain Camel Market
The market is located nearly 15 km away from the main city center of Al Ain. The trading hours are in the morning, and it is quite amusing to see the sellers engage in animated conversation with potential buyers, trying to outsell each other.
If you are touring across the UAE, then make sure that this unique market is part of your sightseeing itinerary. If you are in Dubai, Abu Dhabi, or Sharjah, it is easy to get to Al Ain, and there are a whole lot of transportation options to explore.
The Dubai to Al Ain distance is a mere 147 kms, which can be covered in a little less than 2 hours, by road.
For those wondering how to go to Al Ain from Abu Dhabi, again, the best option is to travel by road. The distance from Abu Dhabi to Al Ain is around 172 kms, which can be covered in 2 hours or so.
All in all, it can make for a great day trip with the family. The Al Ain Central Market is not very far from here, and one can spend some time here as well, enjoying the local dishes and a little bit of shopping.
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