The first few batches of the top 30 Miss Universe UAE contestants have been announced.
“Breaking stereotype begins!” read a tweet from the organisation’s account, alongside pictures of the women.
So far, 20 contestants have been announced in images where they’re dressed in outfits and head coverings by Dubai label Amato Couture. The images share the contestants’ ages and locations; some of the top 30 participants include Bahar (26), Emilia (24), Franki (27), Razan (28), Natalia (24) and Jasmin (22).
The contest, to be held on November 7, is the first time a beauty queen will be selected to represent the UAE at the Miss Universe pageant in December.
“Any woman UAE resident of any nationality between the ages of 18 and 28 can participate. We are looking at diversity and we want them to represent the spirit of this nation,” said Josh Yugen, Founder and CEO of Yugen Events and the new President and National Director of The Miss Universe UAE, during the launch event on October 7.
When applications for the Miss Universe UAE were opened, the response was so overwhelming that it crashed the website.
“Within just one hour of the reveal, we got thousands of online registrations from aspiring candidates and we are seeing this number grow,” said Yugen.
Talking about how the UAE edition of the pageant will be different, Sharihan Al Mashary, Head of Communications for the contest, said: “Dubai and Abu Dhabi are known to doing things differently and for making everything impossible seem possible … We have even eliminated swimwear because an identity of a woman is beyond the parameters of her sculpture … We have changed and made a difference and have done something that nobody in 70 years of Miss Universe history has done.”