More than 40 camels are disqualified from £49million Saudi beauty pageant after dozens of animals were given BOTOX, face lifts and muscle-boosting hormones

  • Beauties were booted from the royal contest held in the desert outside Riyadh
  • Judges this year are using ‘specialised’ tech to weed out nip and tuck breeders
  • Cheaters use procedures to improve the shape of camels’ heads, necks, humps 

More than 40 camels have been disqualified from a Saudi beauty pageant after dozens of the animals were given Botox, face lifts and muscle-boosting hormones. 

The beauties were booted in one of the biggest ever crackdowns at the Abdulaziz Camel Festival where breeders compete for some £49 million in prize money.

Judges at the festival, hosted in the desert northeast of the capital Riyadh, said this year they are using ‘specialised and advanced’ technology to detect nip and tuck. 

Camels are seen during a beauty contest as part of the annual King Abdulaziz Camel Festival in Rumah in this file photo from 2018. Camels with pronounced lips are favoured by judges which has led to the use of Botox by cheaters

Not only is the treatment unfair on other breeders, but it risks leaving the camels with horrific injuries. Footage (pictured) went viral earlier this year showing a camel with ruptured lips after it was pumped full of Botox for another Saudi beauty contest.

Camels participating in the annual King Abdulaziz Camel Festival in January 2018

Cheaters use the cosmetic procedures to dupe the judges who hand out prizes based on the shape of the camels’ heads, necks, humps, dress and postures. 

This year, authorities discovered dozens of breeders had stretched out the lips and noses of camels, used hormones to boost the beasts’ muscles, injected camels’ heads and lips with Botox to make them bigger, inflated body parts with rubber bands and used fillers to relax their faces.

‘The club is keen to halt all acts of tampering and deception in the beautification of camels,’ the Saudi Press Agency said on Wednesday, adding organisers would ‘impose strict penalties on manipulators.’

Not only is the treatment unfair on other breeders, but it risks leaving the camels with horrific injuries.

Footage went viral in August showing a camel with ruptured lips after it was pumped full of Botox for another Saudi beauty contest. 

Hundreds of thousands of Saudis attend the royal camel festival which also features races, sales and other festivities typically showcasing thousands of dromedaries. 

On a rocky desert plateau, the government has erected a permanent venue to host the headline events such as races and a show competition. 

The pavilion features an auction where top camels can fetch millions of riyals. 

There are food stalls and souvenir shops, a petting zoo featuring the world’s tallest and shortest camels and a museum with life-size sand sculptures of camels. 

Hundreds of thousands of Saudis attend the royal camel festival (pictured in 2018) which also features races, sales and other festivities typically showcasing thousands of dromedaries

Cars and people surround camels for sale at an auction during the festival in January 2020

There are also tents for tasting camel’s milk and viewing camel-hair textiles, and a planetarium showing how Arabs rode camels through the desert guided by the stars.

This ‘heritage village’ has been expanded by Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman who founded the official Camel Club by royal decree in 2017.

The extravaganza seeks to preserve the camel’s role in the kingdom’s Bedouin tradition and heritage, even as the oil-rich country ploughs ahead with modernising mega-projects. 

Camel breeding is a multi-million-pound industry and similar events take place across the region.

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