Camel Convoy

Dubai’s Legendary Stuffed Camel Dish: Myth or Reality?

If you’re looking for a real Arabian feast when you’re in Dubai, shun the pizza parlours and burgers joints. Keep your eyes peeled, and your stomach on alert, for the famous Stuffed Camel. Just don’t get the hump (sorry) if you can’t find it.

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This mythical dish is the Loch Ness Monster of Dubai — apart from the fact that you can eat it. Well, not all of it — and providing it does actually exist. A whole camel stuffed with whole sheep, chicken, fish, rice and eggs is what this thing is, and it’s so huge that it made it into the Guinness book of world records as the ”˜largest item on any menu in the world’.

Camel Convoy
© amira_a

But you can’t just pop into a restaurant in Dubai and order stuffed camel. This supposedly traditional Bedouin dish is said to be served at wedding banquets for prominent members of Arabic society and other events large enough to host a whole stuffed camel. No Nandos, then.

In fact, you may not be able to taste it anywhere. In recent years, there has been growing skepticism over whether or not stuffed camel does actually exist, or if it’s an exaggeration or a joke that has snowballed and become shorthand for the ultimate gastronomic feast.

You certainly don’t see anywhere advertising stuffed camel in Dubai. And when you ask the locals, they tend to flash a wry smile and say, “Yes, of course it exists.” — just as a Scotsman may respond to the question, “Does the Loch Ness Monster exist?” They could be pulling your leg. Others say it used to be devoured by sheikhs and other high-up members of Arabian society, but not any more.

If stuffed camel doesn’t exist, then quite a few prominent minds have been fooled — or have knowingly perpetuated the hoax. The recipe has been referenced not only by the Guinness book of world records — not usually one to partake in pranks — but also in T.C. Boyle’s novel Water Music, as well as the 1971 comic novel I Served the King of England and even the liner notes for Pink Floyd’s Atom Heart Mother, which labels the dish a ‘Traditional Bedouin Wedding Feast’.

For any culinary adventurers out there, the ultimate quest is to find the legendary Dubai stuffed camel. Then eat it all.

  1. I sure hope it’s real! since I’ve been going around telling everyone “do you know what’s the biggest dish in the world? Its a camel stuffed with a sheep stuffed with a chicken” Kind of like a Turducken but on a major scale.

  2. Well let me set the record staright yes the dish dose exist. Now granted you can not order the dish at a restaurant. Since camel is an expensive item it self it is usually reserved for weddings and special ocassions such Eid muslim equivalent of Christmas. Pictures of such dish are available through internet

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