She batted her eyelashes, and flashed a smile for the TV cameras at Mzayen World Cup. This pageant was held in Qatari desert 15 miles (25km) from Doha.

Nazaa’a is a camel.

Think Westminster Dog Show crossed over with Miss America Pageant except for camels.

Nazaa’a is a powerful light-haired beast that won the Pageant at Qatar Camel Mzayen Club’s Friday.

The Ministry of Sports and Youth sponsored this event along with the Supreme Committee for Delivery and Legacy. They are the local World Cup organizing team.

Nazaa’a was one 15-camel team that competed to win the crown. They were accompanied by fans in bejewelled collars, and draped with strings made of gemstones.

Jassim al Kuwari, who is part of the Nazaa’a family, joked that “I thought my camel was superior to Ronaldo and Messi”.

These events are common in the Middle East, where camels have been connected to people for generations.

“This is our culture. Al Kuwari explained that this culture is long gone, inherited from our grandfathers. “Today is a beauty competition. We love these camels. We give them names. It’s like having a family.

Visitors were greeted with the camel jingle “Welcome at the Camel Competition”, followed by Karak, a spiced milk tea. To watch the competition, owners and their families sat in a luxurious tent that was air-conditioned with red velvet chairs. There was also a glass wall.

The pure-bred female, pure-bred camels were the main draw. In front of thousands of fans cheering for their favorite, the competitors make many passes. The prize for the best milker is awarded to the camel who produces the most milk.

It is not a joke, this is a serious contest. A doctor is on hand to make sure that the animals do not use Botox or fillers to make them look more beautiful. Last December, dozens of camels were disqualified at the King Abdulaziz Camel Festival in Saudi Arabia because they used cosmetic enhancements.

Then there is the money. All three winners receive trophies. Nazaa’s owner earned 200,000 Qataririyals ($55,000). 15,000 riyal is awarded to the camel which produces the most milk.

Hamad Al Greissi, camel owner, stated that “I have been associated with camels ever since I was a kid.” “Camels were here before planes and cars. They were often called “the ships of the dry desert”. Modern vehicles made camels less popular but they are still very much a part of our culture.

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