- Held under the patronage of His Royal Highness the Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud, Chairman of the Royal Commission for AlUla (RCU), the AlUla Camel Cup, launched at a press conference today, runs until Friday
- Two main trophies meticulously crafted at Thomas Lyte, the London-based, luxury silversmiths who design and manufacture elite sporting presentation prizes including the Emirates FA Cup, Guinness Six Nations Trophy, and the Asian Football Confederation’s Asian Cup
- Exquisite designs – to be presented to the champions of Friday’s ‘Heil’ and ‘Zmoul’ races – feature camels, rock art, the Royal Commission for AlUla (RCU) logo, the desert, and AlUla
ALULA-: The winners of the inaugural AlUla Camel Cup will receive a specially designed trophy crafted from hallmarked sterling silver and 24 carat gold plate, two priceless awards revealed at a press conference today to officially launch the tournament.
Held under the patronage of His Royal Highness the Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud, Chairman of the Royal Commission for AlUla (RCU), the elite competition runs at the new AlUla Camel Racing Venue until Friday. The AlUla Camel Cup is organised by the Royal Commission for AlUla (RCU) as part of the AlUla Moments calendar in collaboration with the Saudi Camel Racing Federation (SCRF).
Two glorious pieces of silverware will be presented to the winners of Friday’s ‘Heil’ and ‘Zmoul’ races. Befitting a tournament with a unique fusion of modern and ancient, the main AlUla Camel Cup trophies have been meticulously created to incorporate camels, rock art, the desert, and AlUla by the craftsmen at Thomas Lyte. The London-based, Royal Warrant holders are luxury silversmiths and goldsmiths who design and manufacture elite sporting presentation prizes including the Emirates FA Cup, Guinness Six Nations Trophy, and the Asian Football Confederation’s Asian Cup.
Kevin Baker, Founder and CEO at Thomas Lyte, said: “The genius of the majestic, main trophies is that they have been created with traditional skills combined with modern methods. Some of the skills predate Roman times and have been incorporated with state-of-the-art techniques such as 3D printing, scanning, and engraving.
“At Thomas Lyte, we feel this is particularly apt for AlUla and the AlUla Camel Cup, an event that very much reflects the merging of tradition and modernity. Trevor Brown, our lead designer, has worked exclusively with the team at RCU and AlUla Moments, and we have relished the fantastic challenge of embracing taking thousands of years and bringing them to life in these resplendent modern-era trophies.”
The exquisitely designed AlUla Camel Cup champion trophies took around four months for the skilled craftsmen at Thomas Lyte to complete. Created at one of the largest silver workshops in Europe, some 27 individuals were involved in all the different aspects of bringing the beautiful silverware to life. Hundreds of man hours of work were involved in the process. These include individual skilled workers with very specific skills in silversmithing and goldsmithing, such as polishing, plating, engraving and more.
The trophy unveiling at the AlUla Camel Racing Venue press conference helped officially launch the AlUla Camel Cup, for which 16 pieces of silverware in total have been created by Thomas Lyte.
Rami Almoallim, Vice President, Destination Management & Marketing – Royal Commission for AlUla, said: “The splendid trophies are a fitting reward for triumphing at the AlUla Camel Cup, one of the flagship events of the AlUla Moments events calendar. Through this platform AlUla offers a diverse range of festivals and occasions throughout the year to celebrate AlUla’s rich cultural heritage – including art, culture, music, nature, wellness, and sports such as the historically significant activity of camel racing.”
Each winner of the six ‘Marathon’ races on the first day of action will be presented with a silver vase. Each winner of the eight races on days two and three – two 4km ‘Hagayeg’ and two 5km ‘Lagaya’ races on Wednesday and two 6km ‘Jiza’ and two 8km ‘Thanaya’ races on Thursday – win a beautiful dish.
On the final day of racing, camels aged six years and above compete in ‘Heil’, which is a one-round, 8km race, and ‘Zmoul’, which is also a one-round, 8km race. Each champion owner will be presented with a resplendent AlUla Camel Cup.
Mohammed Hammad Albalawi, Vice President – Saudi Camel Racing Federation & Secretary General – International Camel Federation, said: “Camel racing holds a significant place in traditional Saudi and Arabic culture as it is an ancient sport that has been passed down through generations.
“Camels carried the hopes and ambitions of our ancestors and are apt creatures to symbolise Saudi Arabia moving forward. Camel racing will always be an integral part of Saudi Arabia – in the past, present, and future – and the AlUla Camel Cup is the next step on our distinguished journey.”
The press conference also heard how AlUla’s sports strategy focuses on four key objectives: Community Sports, Talent Development and Elite Performance, Sports Events and Sports Facilities.
Ziad AlSuhaibani, Head of the Sports Executive Program – Royal Commission for AlUla, said: “AlUla is a growing destination for world-class sporting activities, and has hosted sporting events this season including the Saudi Tour, AlUla Trail Race, AlUla Endurance Cup, and today the beginning of the first-ever AlUla Camel Cup. These sporting events play a major part in the country’s transformation aligned with Saudi Vision 2030, in keeping with AlUla’s commitment to sustainable and responsible development.”
More than 40 of the region’s finest racing camels have qualified for the AlUla Camel Cup at the refurbished AlUla Camel Racing Venue.
Nizar Fakhoury, Executive Director – Destination Development, Destination Management & Marketing – Royal Commission for AlUla, said: “While a track has existed here since the early 1990s – and was the fourth camel racing venue in Saudi Arabia – this new revamped, state-of-the-art venue is a fitting host for the AlUla Camel Cup. In addition to the four-day competition, the venue, which includes a training track, ezabs, heritage village, public grandstands, Royal/VVIP pavilion and grandstand, and back of house, will further support the future development of camel racing in the region.
‘All of our infrastructure projects at AlUla – of which this is the biggest – are focused on blending seamlessly into the landscape. Our tourism is as much about the environment and sites as it is diversifying the economy.”
As well as elite racing, the AlUla Camel Cup also comprises fashion, retail offerings, and dining outlets. And there is still time to be among the fortunate attendees at the AlUla Camel Cup. Single day tickets for the event, priced at SAR50, remain available at: https://tickets.experiencealula.com/en/experiences/alula-camel-cup-pass