I hadn’t considered it, but camels are very much a part of desert life. I didn’t expect to encounter camels in the city. By the way there were many feral cats. Dogs are considered unclean and actually the word is an Arabic curse. No dogs but many emaciated cats are on hand. There are also the requisite pigeons, which seem to be universal. Just out side the city along the roadside, my driver brought me to a series of camels gathered in groups of twenty or so. There purpose was not for rides or tourists. The camels are there for the vendors to sell milk.
In fact tourism seems to be largely unknown. I did not come across any souvenir shops selling the requisite Saudi T shirts or any Saudi flags. Tourism is largely ignored as the economy is about oil. A few tourists more or less is not significant to the economy. However, Mecca (Makkah) is a major destination. Most of the pilgrims come through Jeddah in order to get to Mecca.
So the vendors sell milk. They do not want pictures. One vendor didn’t want pictures of his camels. I couldn’t figure that one out. On the other side of the road are a series of tents where the camels and their owners spend their nights. The camels chew sideways. Arabian or dromedary camels have one hump. The hump is a fatty deposit and not for water. It gets more complicated from here with oval red blood cells and so forth. My encounter did not come across any temperamental animals. In fact they were as curious about me as I about them.