The Royal Commission for AlUla (RCU), in collaboration with the Saudi Camel Racing Federation (SCRF), announced today that the inaugural AlUla Camel Cup will be held from March 14-17, 2023.
The tournament will crown a ‘Champion of Champions’ and will complete with a grand prize pool of USD 21.33M. With the highest prize pots in the world per round of camel racing, the tournament honours the Kingdom’s revered sport in the stunning backdrop of AlUla, a place of extraordinary human and natural heritage.
Amr AlMadani, CEO of the Royal Commission for AlUla said: “The AlUla Camel Cup will celebrate the most noble of Saudi Arabian sporting traditions, welcoming royalty VIPS, the elite of the sport and many distinguished guests to the most glorious of settings for this illustrious occasion.” With such deep-rooted historical connections - such as the Incense Road Trading route where camel caravans travelled through AlUla trading precious goods, and the ancient petroglyphs featuring camels engraved across the rocks of AlUla - it is fitting that we celebrate the ‘ships of the desert’ with the first AlUla Camel Cup.
The inclusion of the AlUla Camel Cup to the Saudi Camel Racing Federation’s season ushers in a new era for the Kingdom’s cherished homegrown pursuit. “We eagerly await March 14 when world-class sport will be combined with natural beauty and the epitome of modern luxury for a spectacle like no other.”
Mahmoud Suleiman Albalawi, Executive Director of SCRF, said: “The pinnacle of the Saudi Arabian camel racing season, which will crown a ‘Champion of Champions’, can have no better setting than the performance grade track at AlUla, a jewel of the desert where tradition meets modernity.
“Saudi Arabia has championed camel racing the world over, with historical records indicating the sport played a part in our ancient culture as far back as the 7th Century. The professional nature of camel racing has a similarly distinguished past, with the first professional camel race held in Saudi Arabia dating back to 1964 as part of a heritage festival.
“The evolving story of the sport, where we pay tribute to its timelessness and the special appeal it holds in the hearts and minds of the region’s people, will reach new heights at the AlUla Camel Cup in March 2023. Here the conclusion of our camel racing season, which began back in August 2022, will reach a truly spectacular finale.”
AlUla Camel Cup is one of the flagship sports events of AlUla Moments 2023 calendar of events and festivals, which includes five major festivals and six marque events. Other sports events taking place in AlUla are ‘The Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques Endurance Cup in AlUla 2023’ (March 4), ‘AlUla Trail Race’ (February 23 and 24), and the recent ‘Saudi Tour’ (January 30 – February 3).