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Sunday, April 14, 2024

Introducing Saudi Arabia’s pioneering Miss Universe contestant, Rumy Alqahtani

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Saudi Arabia has made its inaugural entry into Miss Universe 2024, Al-Monitor, a Middle East news platform, is reporting. This will be the first time the Arabic nation will compete in this global pageant.

The country, known for being reticent in social affairs, has shifted its conservative position in pageants.

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Leading this historic move is Rumy Alqahtani, a model and influencer from Riyadh.

With a Bachelor’s degree in Dentistry, Ms Alqahtani is a prominent figure in the Saudi beauty industry and has participated in multiple global pageants.

She shared her enthusiasm for representing Saudi Arabia in the upcoming Miss Universe 2024 competition with her one million-plus Instagram followers.

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“This is the first participation of Saudi Arabia in the Miss Universe competition. I am honoured to participate in Miss Universe 2024.

“I hold in my hands the colours of gratitude and love in my heart, appreciation and praise to all my friends worldwide. This support made me happy in gathering social media, and I hope to be in good faith.

“I am happy because I am the first Miss Saudi Arabia to represent my country in international competitions. I love you. Thank you to all my friends for your support. I love you all,” she wrote Wednesday.

Meet Rumy Alqathani

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Ms Alqahtani is a 27-year-old model and influencer from Riyadh who has etched her name in history as the premier contestant to represent Saudi Arabia in the Miss Universe 2024 contest.

Born in Riyadh, Ms Alqahtani has gained recognition for participating in global beauty pageants, including the recent Miss and Mrs Global Asian contest in Malaysia.

With a vast following exceeding one million on Instagram, Alqahtani unveiled her surprising participation through a post that depicted her standing alongside the Saudi Arabian flag, clad in an exquisite silver sequin gown, adorned with a tiara, and draped with a sash bearing the title ‘Miss Universe Saudi Arabia’.

She holds a bachelor’s degree in dentistry, and she is fluent in Arabic, French, and English.

Her career as a model has given her the chance to visit many cities and nations across the world, such as Egypt, Algeria, Rome, Naples, Cambodia, and Rome.

Pageantry Journey

Ms Alqtani’s journey in the pageantry space is attributed to a roll of accomplishments.

Her achievements include winning prestigious titles such as Miss Middle East (Saudi Arabia), Miss Arab World Peace 2021, and Miss Woman (Saudi Arabia).

She has represented Saudi Arabia in various global competitions, including Miss Europe, Miss Planet, Miss Arab Unity, and Miss Asia.

In January, she graced the stage at the Miss & Mrs Global Asian beauty pageant in Malaysia, displaying Saudi Arabia’s rich cultural heritage through traditional attire.

Although she did not clinch the crown, Ms Al-Qahtani’s popularity soared, raising her Instagram following from 870,000 to over a million by March 2024.

Personal Life

Ms Al-Qahtani has two sisters, Razan Al-Qahtani and Gedai Al-Qahtani.

Ms Al-Qahtani’s two sisters, Razan Al-Qahtani and Gedai Al-Qahtani.

Ms Al-Qahtani often shares her love for travel and her fondness for beautiful jewellery on her Instagram.

Her collection includes pieces from Bulgari’s Diva Dreams collection and Cartier’s Love bracelet.

Global Responses to Saudi Arabia’s Entry

The announcement of Saudi Arabia’s participation in the Miss Universe pageant has received widespread acclaim as a progressive move towards gender equality and openness.

Many see this decision as a reflection of the country’s evolving stance and efforts to champion women’s rights.

However, the move has also sparked controversy and criticism among conservative Muslims, particularly in nations like Nigeria and Islamic countries.

Crown Prince Mohammed’s Social Reforms

This move follows reforms implemented by Saudi Arabia’s 38-year-old Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, which relaxed stringent social and religious laws.

Recent changes, such as lifting the ban on women driving, allowing women to attend mixed-gender events, and enabling them to apply for passports without male guardianship, have garnered international attention.

Expectations for more progress in freedoms, particularly for women, were raised when the Arabic nation, known for its strict interpretation of Islamic law and its allegiance to conservative factions, lifted its long-standing ban on women driving.

The Miss Universe 2024 competition, scheduled to be held in Mexico on September 18, will feature contestants from around the globe, including Iran, which is also making its debut.

The 2022 edition was significant, including transgender contestants and the first plus-size contestant to reach the semi-finals, highlighting the pageant’s commitment to inclusivity and representation.

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