Dubai opens world’s first hospital for camels

The emirate of Dubai has opened the world’s first veterinarian hospital devoted to the care and welfare of single-humped racing camels.

The $10m facility, which can treat up to 20 animals at a time, reflects the importance of camels in emirati society. Pedigree racing camels in Dubai have a similar economic value as race horses in other countries.

Mohamed Al Bulooshi is the director of the facility, which is located next to the Dubai Camel Racing Club in Al Marmoum, on the southern outskirts of the city. He said: "We are very interested in preserving our heritage, and we found that we must care for camels, not only by breeding and raising them but also by being able to medically treat them."

The hospital is equipped with an operating theatre and a radiography room. MRI and CAT scanning facilities are to be installed next year. As the hospital is the first of its kind, much of its equipment had to be manufactured specially for the requirements of a dromedary. Surgical procedures start at $1,000 and an x-ray or ultrasound scan is $110.

The hospital intends to help in the research and development of camel medicine. Ahsan Ul Haq, the facility’s head of marketing and finance, said it would help "to unfold the secrets of this strange desert animal".

Image: Camel racing is big business in the Gulf (Creative Commons)

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