When wearing sportswear humans are capable of performing better – science has proven. But why is it not the case for animals as well? This has led to the company, Al Shibla, test sportswear for camels. The company is based in UAE and deals with camel and horse luxury products. The latest product launched by them is an outfit for camels that is styled like lycra. According to the company, the invention has been given quite a follow up in the Middle East.
For the horses, compressions suits are common. They are used all over the world to increase their performance. But what Al Shibla is doing unique is that they are implementing the plan upon camels. Co-founder and head of research and development at the company, Anne Wolter, said, “If it’s fitting the horse, why we don’t do it for the camel?”
The suit is made of up thick material that is soft and covers the body of the camel. It compresses their blood vessels, hence improving the blood circulation. The suits are to be worn before and after the training sessions, so to help the muscles with increased supply of blood and oxygen, and reducing cramping by decreasing the amount of lactic acid. Only the head and neck of the animal are left bare, other than that the whole body is covered.
The suits designed to be worn before and after the races, serve a dual purpose for the owner. According to the company’s sales pitch, “The full body suit can help racing camels run faster, while the cream of the species entered into camel beauty contests will have the ability to stand taller after using the suit.” The suit can also be used in times when the camel tends to lose a lot of weight, for example during transportation, when the weight loss is due to the overtime working of the hormones.
Wolter further added, “We can compare it with the compression socks we get in the hospital. It activates the blood circulation in the muscle. If there’s a health problem, people usually just call the vet and ask for an injection, but there are physiotherapy treatments, and the compression suit is a physiotherapy treatment.”
“The animals are much fitter, so you can just see everything has a good blood circulation.” Director of Al Shibla, Birgit Kemphues explained.
The full body compression suit was launched by the company after months of work towards the perfection of the product. The product was launched at the Al Dhafra Camel Festival in December. Designing the product was quite difficult because unlike horses, camels rest on folded knees while their breasts rub the ground. So due to these characteristics, extra durable material was used for those parts. These suits are tailor-made, to fit each individual animal and are not sold ready-made.
Wolter said, “The company has already received requests for the product, the buyers seem keen to have their names or the name of their stables printed on the jerseys. Everyone is so intrigued because for so long the stables have just used blankets after training. Owners stop and say, ‘I’ve been racing camels for decades and I’ve never seen anything like it.’ Some call it the ‘camel kandura’. They are also seeing opportunities and we already have people asking about having branding on the outfits.”
The price tag on these suits is Dhs 3,500 (almost $1,000) apiece. Wolter believes that the product is well worth the price tag. “If you ship a camel from the UAE to Saudi or Qatar, it can lose 15kg to 30kg because of stress,” she explained. “Our research and testing has shown that we can get that down to about 7.5kg to 10kg by wearing our outfits. In addition to that, the outfit is like a thrombosis sock. It squeezes the muscle and ensures circulation.”