Miss World 2023 to be held in the UAE
For the first time, Miss World will be held in the UAE, it was announced on Monday.
This will mark its first foray into the Middle East and will be the first time it’s been held since Nepal-born British businessman Deependra Gurung became the company’s new co-owner.
Miss World Limited chairperson Julia Morley made the announcement on Instagram, saying she’s “delighted” over the decision to host the 71st beauty pageant in the Emirates.
“Further details to follow,” she added, referring to a date and venue for the pageant.
The last pageant was held in March last year in Puerto Rico, where Polish beauty queen Karolina Bielawska was named Miss World 2021, beating runners up Miss USA Shree Saini, and Ivory Coast’s Olivia Yace, who was favourite to win.
Bielawska made history by becoming only the second Polish beauty queen to win the title.
The competition had been postponed from December 2021 after a Covid-19 outbreak among contestants and crew.
Contestants from 98 countries took part in Miss World 2021, including Khadija Omar, Somalia’s first hijabi candidate.
Before Bielawska, the title was held by Miss Jamaica World 2019, Toni-Ann Singh, whose reign as the longest titleholder in history was extended following the delay of the annual beauty pageant for the second year due to Covid-19.
Miss World was launched in 1951 by Eric Morley, who became known as “Mr World″ after he founded the famed beauty pageant.
The competition was created in the UK and is the oldest-running international beauty pageant. Since his death in 2000, Morley’s widow, Julia, has co-chaired the event. Gurung bought into the business in November.
To enter, contestants must be unmarried and childless, between the ages of 17 and 27 and be a resident of the country they represent.
The UAE has yet to enter a delegate into the competition, although the country has participated in the Mrs World pageant before, with Debanjali Kamstra becoming the first Mrs UAE World beauty queen in 2021, when she came in third.
The Mrs World pageant was founded in 1984 and has taken place around the world, from India and Russia to South Africa and South Korea.
Last year, the new title-holder was crowned in a glamorous ceremony on December 17 at a glitzy event in Las Vegas, which was available to live-stream around the world. Pamala Serena represented the UAE, although did not make it to the final rounds.
The winner was India’s Sargam Koushal. The teacher and model from Mumbai was named the winner after beating 63 other contestants for the coveted title.