Via the Saudi Gazette: Where camels are sold for millions. Excerpt:
HAFR AL-BATIN — Around this time every year, thousands of camel breeders and enthusiasts from the Kingdom and neighboring Gulf countries flock to Umm Ruqaiba Desert, located 160 kilometers south of Hafr Al-Batin, to watch rare breeds of camels compete.
The winning camel receives the coveted King Abdulaziz Prize.
During the 40-day contest, millions of riyals are spent on buying camels. The current contest, which started about two weeks ago, has already clinched deals worth several million riyals.
The owners of camels competing in the pageant usually stay in luxurious tents, the rent of which can reach SR350,000 [US$93,000] for the entire duration of the contest.
The winning camel can be sold for anything between SR2 million [US$533,000] and SR16 million [US$4.265 million], which is the highest price a camel fetched in the history of the pageant that began in 1999.
The camels are scored by a panel, which consists of experienced judges. The winning camel will be announced on the last day of the contest.
Participating camels are divided into five colors: white, yellowish, golden, black and dark red. The judges will use certain criteria for each group of camels when awarding them scores.
Perhaps the judges should also score the camels by their lack of MERS antibodies.