Sunday, July 4, 2010

Al Ain Camel Souk

Years ago, when my sister first arrived in Al Ain, she went out to the Emirate's one and only camel and livestock souk. She came back with photos that made me so envious I have been on about going ever since. The problem was that the market had moved to a new location, and no one really knew where that was.

So, if you've arrived here looking for the location of Al Ain's Camel Market - head way out to Bawadi Mall and take the first left after the end of the parking lot, (coming from Al Ain, this will involve driving down to the next round-about and doubling back). Behind the Mall is the camel market.

But now that I've given out that info, here is a little more. The market isn't what it used to be. The camel vendors seem to make a sweet side business intimidating foreigners and trying to get cash off them for taking pictures. You see all the camels are behind grid fencing these days, hardly picturesque. 

One man was even quite aggressive in trying to get my Sis and I to shake his hand, but in this part of the world no man would offer his hand to a woman - they simply don't touch. Each places their hand over their heart and nods a little.

I still took photos, but just of the place in general. 
Check out the red hennaed beard on the guy on the left!

The new Al Ain Camel and Livestock Market

Poor goats

I know things could have been much worse, there are reports here on trip advisor saying that the camel vendors actually locked people in the pens with the camels and demanded cash to be let out again. 

My advice to anyone looking to take some good pictures - head out to the dunes and pull up to a camel farm. Someone will let you in and show off their livestock without trying to cop a feel or fleece you, and you'll definitely get better photos!

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