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thumbnail Camels in the desert, United Arab Emirates
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Camels in the desert, United Arab Emirates © Amazing Aerial Premium/Shutterstock
Desert-dwelling camels have been central to lives in the United Arab Emirates for thousands of years. A key mode of transportation for Bedouins, camels long helped them traverse the sweltering sands in search of water and supplies. These dromedaries were also used as currency to fulfill obligations such as dowries or zakat, an annual charitable fee in Muslim communities. Camel milk is a valuable and nutritious ingredient in many recipes in the region, while camel racing keeps people entertained to this day, illustrating the versatility of these hardy creatures.