Camels are considered a symbol of traditional life in the well-off Gulf, so the hotel is a logical step for the lucrative industry there. Photograph:( AFP )
Described as the world's first hotel for camels, the Tatman is an open-air desert compound near the King Abdelaziz Festival, which offers prizes worth $66.6 million
A luxury compound near Riyadh offers heated stalls and hot milk for Saudi Arabia's most beautiful camels.
For 400 riyals (just over $100) a night, the camels are groomed, scrubbed, and pampered before they compete in beauty contests, in which millions of dollars are at stake.
Camels, many of which are rented, are checked closely for Botox and other illegal enhancements, which can result in their expulsion for cheating.
Moreover, it is all done in a Covid-safe environment to prevent disruptions.
Described as the world's first hotel for camels, the Tatman is an open-air desert compound near the King Abdelaziz Festival, which offers prizes worth $66.6 million.
Camels are considered a symbol of traditional life in the well-off Gulf, so the hotel is a logical step for the lucrative industry there.
120 enclosures, some single, some double, each with a plastic container for water and feed, are available. There is a 12:30 pm check-out time.
50 workers take care of the animals during their stay, under strict sanitary conditions to minimize the risk of contracting the disease.
Omair al-Qahtani, a Saudi, checked 80 camels into the Tatman for 16 days. He estimated that it would cost him between $160,000 and 213,000 dollars.
In the opinion of the 51-year-old businessman, the facility is "very comfortable, as the camels remain under their care and undergo regular medical examinations".
Mohamed al-Harbi, media of the camel club that organises the competition, said the group dreamed up the hotel "to protect and preserve camels and also to reduce the burden on the owner".
Those attending the festival have no problem spending big dollars, as they enjoy well-appointed buildings and tents and booths from luxury carmakers Rolls-Royce and BMW.
Bringing in more than $1.6 million in revenue, he said the hotel was popular.
Thousands of dollars can be spent by Saudi enthusiasts to enter their camels in contests, where unscrupulous contenders sometimes attempt to take illegal advantage.
Watch | Gravitas: Saudi festival disqualifies 40 botoxed camels
Infractions such as Botox and silicone injections into lips, humps and tails resulted in 43 dromedaries being expelled from the festival by camel checkers.
However, Harbi said the hotel offers a "check" program so that people can "find any tampering early", reassuring them that their rented animals won't be sent packing. This is a big advantage since doctored camels can be fined up to $26,000.
(With inputs from agencies)