They’re not known for their good looks and graces, but in some parts of the world, camels are entered into beauty pageants.

Each year, judges in the United Arab Emirates rate camels on their long necks and humps, as thousands of people from across the Gulf come to watch the spectacle.

The camel beauty pageant is part of the Al Dhafra festival, which celebrates Bedouin culture. There are two camel competitions – one for the light coloured camels and one for the darker breed, and the contestants are judged on the arch of their neck, the size and shape of their humps and even their temperament. The best camels go for upwards of £2m.

Camel-owning families come from Saudi Arabia, Oman and other Gulf States, turning the competition into a matter of national pride.

The festival, which is in its seventh year, seeks to promote the preservation of pure-bred camels, which are an integral part of Bedouin culture for their transport capabilities and milk production.

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