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Camels Produce Healthy Milk

Near Dubai, in the small settlement called Umm Nahad, is the world’s largest camel farm. It is operated by Emirates Industry for Camel Milk and Products, more widely recognized by the brand name Camelicious.

This farm accommodates 2,000 camels, providing an enormous 3,500 to 4,000 liters of milk daily. Last week the farm opened its door to journalists for the first time.

Farm Manager Dr. Peter Nagy, a veterinarian specialist from Hungary, said that the greatest challenge in setting up the Camelicious farm was to discover how camels can cope with daily processes of milking machinery whilst staying healthy and happy enough to give good quality milk. “Camels are very different from cows. They are not running on high speed, but they are much tougher than cows. It was our aim not to turn them into milk machines or push them to their genetic limits,” Dr. Nagy told reporters.

Dr. Jutka Juhasz, chief veterinarian on the farm, explained that camels are highly emotional creatures. She said that it is important to keep them happy and satisfied, because it reflects in their behavior and also in milk production: “We take them out on a walking trail every day and wash them regularly to keep them in shape.”

The camel milk produced is used for production of both plain camel milk and flavored milk drinks which are sold in class A supermarkets throughout the country.

The whole idea of establishing such a farm started back in 2002 at the Central Veterinary Research Laboratory in Dubai. It was a unique pilot project approved by the Dubai’s government, with a budget of $20 million. The construction was not finished until 2005, when the farm produces its first commercial product. The project never aimed to become commercial, as it was first established as a researched center. Today the farm, fully owned by the Dubai Government, employs 194 people.

Despite the initial scientific purposes of the project it has become a huge commercial success as there is a surprisingly high local demand. The products are not being exported yet, and the majority of production is sold to a nearby chocolate factory producing camel-milk chocolate.

Camels originate from the UAE and neighboring countries. A prime quality camel in Middle-East is worth over $8000, and Dr. Nagy says that the farm intends to aquire at least three times more than the current 2,000 strong herd. The camels are fed with hay, wheat bran, carrots and minerals, without any chemical substances added to their food. In addition to the milk production facilities, there is also a breeding section at the farm. Calves must be three to four years old before entered into the breeding roster, and pregnancy lasts for 13 months. “It’s a slow process, and we try to combine tradition and modernity.” said Dr. Nagy.

According to a document presented at the fifth Dubai International Food Safety Conference camel milk is much healthier than cow milk. It has 40 percent lower fat and cholesterol, three times more Vitamin C, as well as more potassium, iron and minerals.

In December last year, Emirates Industry for Camel Milk and Products was awarded a certificate by the Dubai Municipality recognizing the company’s efforts in quality control development and management. Also, the farm recently received a high-standard ISO certification for food safety.

The next ambitious goal is to get camel milk products to the European market. “We expect a visit by EU Commission representatives in January, and maybe we’ll get the permission in May,” says Mutasher Al Badry, Deputy General Manager of Emirates Industry for Camel Milk and Products.



2 Responses to “Camels Produce Healthy Milk”

  1. Marguerite says:

    It¡¯s really a cool and helpful piece of information.

  2. Cristen Harnist says:

    Really appreciate you sharing this blog.Thanks Again. Fantastic.


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