Saudi Arabia will have its first ever Miss Universe candidate this year

Saudi Arabia will have its first ever Miss Universe candidate this year
Saudi Arabia has joined Miss Universe for the first time, with Rumy Alqahtani representing the kingdom in the international beauty pageant.
2 min read
26 March, 2024
Saudi Arabia has never had a representative in Miss Universe [Getty/file photo]

Saudi Arabia will have its first-ever Miss Universe competitor this year, with renowned model Rumy Alqahtani named as the kingdom's candidate for the 2024 international competition.

Riyadh-born Alqahtani has already competed in, and won, beauty pageants across the world, including most recently Miss and Mrs Global Asian in Malaysia.

The 27-year-old model and influencer has already been crowned Miss Saudi Arabia, Miss Middle East, Miss Arab World Peace, and Miss Woman (Saudi Arabia), according to Harper's Bazaar Arabia.

Alqahtani will now become the kingdom's first representative for Miss Universe, an international beauty pageant that has been running since 1952.

Dressed in a sequin ballgown, donning a Miss Universe Saudi Arabia sash, and beside the Saudi flag, Alqahtani announced the news to her 1 million followers on Instagram.

"I am honoured to participate in the Miss Universe 2024 competition. This is the debut of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia in the competition," she wrote.

Saudi Arabia is fairly new to the world of fashion and modelling, with reforms by Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman seeing fashion shows and other forms of entertainment in the kingdom after years of tight social restrictions.

One of the kingdom's best-known models is Shahad Salman, dubbed the Saudi Winnie Harlow, who like her model hero has vitiligo, has also featured in fashion magazines globally.

A number of Arab countries, such as Lebanon and Bahrain, have taken part in Miss Universe competitions, which do not feature a swimwear section unlike the rival Miss World.

It also has a traditional costume section, where participants can display their national dress.

In 2021, Miss Universe was held in Israel, despite calls for a boycott from BDS and Arab campaigners.