The U.A.E. fixes a human rights problem:

DUBAI  -- Three years after robots replaced human jockeys, camel racing has lost none of its allure in the UAE and has become more accessible for expatriates and tourists, authorities said yesterday as the Dubai racing season wound up.

"It is safer and more comfortable," Rashid al Swadi, the deputy manager of the Dubai Camel Racing Club, said minutes after the final race. "This has always been a popular sport. We upgraded the traditions of our fathers and grandfathers."

The UAE and other Gulf countries were previously criticised because of the use of children as camel jockeys. The practice is now banned in the UAE.

This and other changes are making the sport more accessible to non-Emiratis, according to Dr Ulrich Wernery, the scientific director of the Central Veterinary Research Laboratory in Dubai, who has been following camel racing for decades. "It was a very good impetus," he said."Racing is slowly becoming more and more popular, especially with tourists. Before visitors were not allowed in with cameras. There were checkpoints and police everywhere and it was very tense. Now you can go everywhere you want."

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