News Getting the hump: camels do battle in front of tens of thousands of spectators

On Sunday, more than 20,000 people will gather in Turkey to watch camels do battle in a spectacle that dates back thousands of years. It is, depending on your attachment to the ungainly beasts, a historic cultural institution to be celebrated – or a throwback to an era before animal-rights campaigns when it was OK to starve an animal for three months to make it cross.

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VARIOUS ARTISTS

For camel trekking, try Somerset

Surreal? Certainly. But if you've got the hump with horse riding, why not go west aboard a charming, stately creature, asks Rupert Isaacson

Farmer's daughter brings new approach to sport of Sheikhs

The sight of 20 hump-backed and ungainly beasts clumping through the heat and dust of the Dubai desert is unlikely to induce the next great scramble for exclusive rights to pay-as-you view television coverage.

This week has been a ...

Good Week for camel racing, as more than 30,000 spectators turned up at a Berlin horse-race track to see the first camel race in northern Europe. "It's a shame we can't place any bets." said one man. "The camels would be ideal for bets because you never know what they are going to do in the middle of the race." Two camels sat down on the track for 15 minutes in mid-race; another stopped two metres from the finishing line.

Fashion: Dogs on the catwalk

How much is that doggy in the window, the one with the blue sequinned frock costing 80 quid? Charlotte Eagar on haute couture for hounds - it makes one simply howl. Styling by Holly Davies. Photographs by Jonathan Root

Stroke tarantulas, pat a python...

Days out: Marwell is a hands-on zoo. By Emma Haughton

Travel: LIVING IN HARMONY

Oman was catapulted into the 20th century less than 40 years ago. The result is gentle social progress and a landscape of rare unsullied beauty

In the wheel world

Nicola Swanborough gets a chain reaction to the Camel Trail between Bodmin and Padstow

Racing: Thoroughbreds shaded by clouds and camels

When you see a lake in the desert it can generally be written off as a mirage, but there was nothing ethereal about the huge puddles around the Nad Al Sheba race-track here yesterday morning. The previous evening's call to prayer had also summoned up a thunderstorm of biblical proportions which raged throughout the night, depositing so much water on this normally bone-dry city that some started to question whether Saturday's Dubai World Cup might succumb to the elements.

Why don't you grow up?

There's nothing so sad as an Old Lad. Paul Quarry decides it's time to sample the pleasures of the more mature lifestyle

girls will be boys

In the new unisex stores and on the street, what's his is hers. Shw wea rs desert boots, flat-front trousers and boys' school shirts.

Camel safaris, canoes and chameleons

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A final set of records for 1996

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John Eisenhammer treks through the stark beauty of the Sahara
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