Watch out for camels!

An hour drive away from highly urbanized Dubai is a sleepy but picturesque Emirate of Ras Al Khaimah. We drove there with friends to fulfill our goal to visit all the seven Emirates of the UAE. So far, I’ve been to Abu Dhabi, Dubai (of course), Sharjah, Fujairah and Ras Al Khaimah, yet to visit Umm Al Quwain and Ajman. 

The trip to RAK was pleasant and memorable but what I can’t forget is that on our way to the beach, on a long and straight highway, there was a camel crossing the road! M slowed his driving speed down while I hurriedly took out my camera. I was slow and the camel had just finished crossing the street.

camel crossing street

Another camel in the roadside in this thinly populated suburb.

roadside camel

While scenes like this is rare within Dubai, I have heard of animals being let loose in the suburbs and causing road accidents, some even resulting in death!

There weren’t any camel crossing sign anywhere – at least as far as I know. There’s none or must have I missed it? Plenty of them near the roads, munching on trees:

camel feeding

We stopped by to get close to the humped creatures.

going near the camels

The Camels Crossing sign I found in the other Emirates looks cute like a perfect tourist souvenir, but it should not be taken lightly. Camels have no road sense and if you hit one, you’re likely to face two problems: the first is that because of their height, they’re likely to topple and go through your windshield at whatever speed you were doing when you hit it (sometimes these can be fatal). The second is that they are expensive – especially camels used in racing and owners will let you pay for it!

I don’t think this camel is expensive because it doesn’t look like a camel used for racing (it’s obviously underfed judging from the ribs sticking out) but still a traffic hazard.


We went to the beach and hurriedly came back to the road to head home before dark. Camels are most active at night and the road is not sufficiently lighted. The next day, I read in the news that one person died and 4 others suffered serious injuries on the same highway when their Range Rover hit a camel at around 8 pm.

When driving outside of Dubai, beware of these camels, especially at night!


  1. Where my parents live in New England (northeast US) they have the same problem with moose. They’re quite dangerous, you really need to be careful at night. Of course after she scared the daylights out of me with all her warnings last summer I went the entire month without ever seeing so much as a mooseprint!

    Robins last blog post..Nearing the finish line



  2. When I lived in a rural area and commuted to a nearby city I always was so tense while driving early in the morning or at night because of all the animals that like to jump out at cars.

    It’s really scary! Once we hit a lot of frogs crossing the road on a rainy summer night when we were in Japan, going to my in-law’s house in the province!! Not a traffic hazard at all but still!



  3. We saw some camels alongside the road too! Totally surreal for me! They had camel crossing signs too, but unfortunately we did not get a picture. And holy cow there are some crazy drivers and roads in Saudi! 😉

    So sorry about your cell phone. 😦

    Kristas last blog post..We’re Home and…



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