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Saudi Arabia's Debut in Miss Universe is Breaking Boundaries with Rumy Alqahtani as its 2024 Contender

Saudi Arabia has entered the Miss Universe pageant, selecting Rumy Alqahtani as its contender for the 2024 edition of the global beauty competition. Hailing from Riyadh, Alqahtani, a well-known model, has garnered recognition on the international stage by clinching victories in various beauty pageants worldwide, including titles like Miss and Mrs. Global Asian held in Malaysia.


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The 27-year-old model and influencer has an impressive list of accolades under her belt, having been crowned Miss Saudi Arabia, Miss Middle East, Miss Arab World Peace, and Miss Woman (Saudi Arabia), as reported by Harper's Bazaar Arabia. Alqahtani's participation in Miss Universe will be Saudi Arabia's first-ever entry into the prestigious beauty competition, which began in 1952.

Alqahtani took to her Instagram account to make the announcement, expressing gratitude for the chance and stressing the importance of Saudi Arabia's first-ever participation in the competition. Dressed elegantly in the sash representing Miss Universe Saudi Arabia, she proudly shared her excitement while standing beside the Saudi flag.

The kingdom's foray into the realm of fashion and modeling is relatively recent, spurred by reforms initiated by Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, which have gradually loosened social restrictions, allowing for the emergence of fashion shows and entertainment events. Among the notable figures in Saudi modeling is Shahad Salman, often likened to the model Winnie Harlow due to her shared experience with vitiligo. Salman has gained international recognition through features in global fashion magazines.



While Saudi Arabia is new to the Miss Universe platform, several other Arab nations, such as Lebanon and Bahrain, have previously participated in the competition, known for not having a swimwear segment, unlike its competitor Miss World. Instead, Miss Universe incorporates a segment showcasing traditional costumes, providing contestants with an opportunity to celebrate their national heritage.

In 2021, despite calls for a boycott from the nonviolent Palestinian-led movement Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions (BDS) and Arab activists, Israel hosted the Miss Universe pageant, underscoring the event's ability to transcend geopolitical tensions and unite participants from diverse backgrounds on a global stage. 

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