The Al Ain camel market is an attraction widely promoted by the local tourist office. This is where camels are traded. If you are lucky you will see a deal unfold, with the key being the loading of a recalcitrant dromedary into the back of a pick-up truck or van. Find in this article all the information to prepare your visit: advice, tips, schedules, prices, access map and location, detailed site map, hotels nearby.
Camels in UAE
The camel is the animal traditionally associated with the desert regions of the Arabian Peninsula. It played an important role in the development of the region, being the means of transport of the men and the goods, with the caravans of the desert. But it is also an animal appreciated for its meat and its milk.
Today, at a time when emirals prefer powerful all-terrain vehicles to ancestral mounts, many families still own camels.
Dromedaries are also used for the race, and these, like their cousins horses, can reach very high prices.
Guide for the visit
We have to warn you: although it is a major tourist attraction, the place is not very pleasant, and after 5-10 minutes you will undoubtedly estimate that you will have seen what there is to see. Moreover, apart from the Pakistani breeders, there is no crowd and few tourists in sight. But this is a good opportunity to approach dromedaries. Admission is free and the site is always open during the day. Watch out for the local tourist scam that involves taking a dromedary baby or offering to pet and take pictures of camels in the enclosure. Of course, you will not be able to leave the enclosure until you have been relieved of a prohibitive amount of money, your ephemeral local guides having a particular interpretation of receiving tips. Note that if you go back to the Jebel Hafit, you can observe other raace dromedaries training below the main road, as well as dromedary farms, but it's not pratical to stop the car to observe them.
Workers near the Al Ain Camel Market Enclosures in the Emirate of Abu Dhabi ©Odyfolio
Although this is not at all in the area, if you want to see camels, a lot of camels, book a night at hotel Tital Liwa in the desert of liwa, region of Al Gharbia.
Location and access map
The location is not signposted and a little hard to find. When you are on the Zayed Bin Sultan main road in the direction that goes away from the city center, you will see on your left the Bawali mall (with a Carrefour hypermarket). Just after the mall, turn to the next traffic light on your left. Then at the second roundabout, turn left and enter the slaughterhouse. The wheels of your car will be disinfected in a pool and the barriers will open automatically. Go straight ahead and take the first left, you will see quickly among the goat pens a section reserved for camels.
Map of the Camel Market in the city of Al Ain ©OpenStreetMap contributors
Detailed map to the Al Ain Camel Market in the United Arab Emirates ©OpenStreetMap contributors