Muscat: HH Sayyid Asaad bin Tarik al Said, Deputy Prime Minister for International Relations and Cooperation Affairs, Special Representative of His Majesty the Sultan, has said that camel sports are considered an innate component of the Omani heritage passed over from ancestors to descendants. This sport, he noted, receives the constant attention of His Majesty Sultan Haitham Bin Tarik, who attaches a great significance to Omani heritage. Accordingly, this sport occupied centre stage in traditional sports locally and internationally.
In a statement, Sayyid Asaad explained that camel sports sprouted in local racing tracks equipped at world-class standards, including vet examinations, official registry, auto jockeys.
Royal Camels Corps tops the list of institutions catering to camel sports, thanks to the unfettered Royal support being accorded to it, so that this institution gets the best of thoroughbred Omani camels, the best cameleers (camel slimming persons) and the most specialised technical caretaker teams to prepare the camels to contest the best ranks and win the highest awards, Sayyid Asaad added.
In other comments, Sayyid Asaad pointed out that Al Bashayer camel racing track is considered one of the largest and finest in the world of camel racing. “Al Bashayer is one of the most advanced camel racing tracks and it meets all international specifications for this type of sport. Regular improvement is made to its facilities, including the range, metal fences, light posts and the main spectator ramps. Once all the components are readied, Al Bashayer will be qualified to host a variety of camel racing events for all age-groups, day and night,” Sayyid Asaad said.
Besides camel races, Al Bashayer will also venue to other sports and cultural contests, so that it could perfom its full role towards entertaining all segments of society, Sayyid Asaad added, noting that the field and track of Al Bashayer will, additionally, be a place of reception of tourist from within the Sultanate and abroad who are expected to flock to Oman to relish the country’s diversity. Al Bashayer will also showcase various antiques peculiar to Al Bashayer and its adjoining villages.
Asked about Al Bashayer camels and their feats, Sayyid Asaad said that Al Bashayer (camel breed) emerged as an idea that developed into a major project. He added that, from a mere idea in the aura of imagination, the project got molded into tangible reality and took the name of Al Bashayer area. Internationally renowned camel slimming specialists were recruited, equipment set in place and the whole facility is being prepared to cater to Al Bashayer camels and keep them on the lead. “We are totally satisfied with the accomplishments made in record time, not exceeding six years,” said Sayyid Asaad.
Speaking about his vision for the future of camel sports, Sayyid Asaad said that camel sports receive attention from all segments of society and it has a wide audience that follows the various stages of races in the Sultanate and abroad. The prizes set for the races make the camel slimming persons and owners in competition to contest the highest places. The owners take keen interest to obtain the best pedigrees and bring the best camel slimming specialists, said Sayyid Asaad, noting that preparations begin very early for the competitions, along with health feeding and training.
Sayyid Asaad also hailed the role of the media and social media in highlighting the events in full detail.
At the conclusion of his statement, Sayyid Asaad reaffirmed the originality of Omani camel sports which, he said receives support at all levels in the Sultanate and GCC states. He pointed out that the holding of joint camel racing events in GCC states gave strong impetus for competition and earned the sport a wider audience every year.
Sayyid Asaad, Deputy Prime Minister for International Relations and Cooperation Affairs, Special Representative of His Majesty the Sultan, expressed the hope that organisers of camel sports would espouse a unified and advanced code, right from the start of the sporting season, so that all could participate in the events, have the time to prepare and give camels enough rest. --ONA