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UAE to Participate in Miss Universe for the First Time with Three Emiratis as Finalists

This autumn, women across the United Arab Emirates (UAE) are getting ready to take the stage, in a bid to proudly represent the nation through elegance, grace, beauty, and charisma. Indeed, for the first time ever, the UAE is gearing up to participate in Miss Universe, by launching the first Miss Universe UAE pageant ever, with the lucky winner moving on to represent the nation at Miss Universe this December.

Miss Universe UAE is set to begin on November 7, 2021 and, in partnership with La Perle, will be held at Al Habtoor City, Dubai. In fact, the pageant will incorporate couture rounds and, unlike many pageants around the world, was made open to any resident between the ages of 18 and 28 within the UAE, a decision that has seen to date 30 finalists and three Emirati hopefuls, Ameera Alawadhi, Marwa Al Hashemi, and Reem Birdette, taking part in the milestone event.

“I really want to use this platform and opportunity to redefine what 'beauty' should mean to us as women, and especially to represent Khaleeji women,” Alawadhi stated on her Instagram account.

The national pageant was officially announced on earlier this month with the President of the Miss Universe Organization, Paula M. Shugart, stating that it comes as the nation breaks new grounds on the world stage. “[...] there has never been a better time to shine a spotlight on the women residing in this country,” she said in an official statement.

The main theme will be inclusion in which anyone is not just welcomed, but valued as well. "Miss Universe is very welcoming and open-minded and no contestant will be forced to wear outfits they are not comfortable in," Josh Yugen, president and national director of Miss Universe UAE, told The National.

Indeed, Miss Universe UAE being hosted within the Gulf region is set to do away with controversial highlights such as the swimsuit competition, a category that is being perceived over recent years as objectifying to women. Instead, the three-hour event will feature couture, activewear, evening gowns, and interviews. As the event is set to begin, the race is on to pick the most beautiful woman to represent the UAE at Miss Universe.

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