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Miss Universe UAE coronation cancelled due to ‘time constraints’

By PINKY S. ICAMEN Published Nov 08, 2021 5:48 pm Updated Nov 09, 2021 2:44 pm

The historic pageant was supposed to name the country’s first representative to compete in the 70th Miss Universe.

A palpable excitement was brewing after it was announced that the United Arab Emirates would be sending its very first candidate to the Miss Universe pageant. 

It was reported that Miss Universe UAE’s website crashed hours after the historic pageant was announced in early October, with over 15,000 hopefuls applying to compete for the crown.

From thousands of applicants, they were narrowed down to 300, who met with a panel of experts including Yugen Events president and CEO Josh Yugen, Dubai-based Filipino designer Furne Amato, who is the head of creatives, fashion and design; and model and former beauty queen Maggie Wilson, creative consultant for the pageant.

The Top 30 were supposed to be revealed on social media days leading to the pageant’s coronation night, initially set on Nov. 7. But so far, the last update on its social media pages was made on Oct. 23.

In an earlier announcement, the organization revealed a timeline of events, including a charity dinner on Nov. 4 and the preliminary show on Nov. 5.

On Nov. 7, Miss Universe UAE released an announcement through Instagram Stories that it has cancelled the coronation night.

“The Miss Universe UAE Organization would like to announce the cancellation of the live coronation night of the Miss Universe UAE on Sunday, Nov. 7, 2021 due to time constraints,” the announcement read.

“Please watch this space for further news and updates,” it said.

As of this writing, the new date for the coronation has yet to be announced.

The entry for the historic Miss Universe UAE was not limited to UAE citizens. Any resident between 18 and 28 years old, who has lived in the country for more than three years with a valid Emirates ID and passport was eligible to join. 

Big Brother alum Franki Russell, who is of New Zealander, European and Filipino descent, was among the pageant hopefuls who made it to the Top 30. 

There will be no swimsuit round in the national pageant “out of respect” for the country’s culture, Yugen told The National. He added that the Miss Universe Organization has modified the rules specifically for the UAE “to give everyone an opportunity.”

The inclusion of the Miss Universe UAE was timely for the 70th anniversary of the Miss Universe pageant.

“The UAE is marking a very important time in its history, from the signing of the Abraham Accords to hosting the Expo 2020 Dubai, and there has never been a better time to shine a spotlight on the women residing in this country,” said Miss Universe Organization president Paula Shugart.

Aside from celebrating its 70-year milestone, the pageant will also put the spotlight on the issue of global warming which aligns with the values of the host country, and the social and global issues that the world is facing today.

The contestants, including Philippine bet Beatrice Luigi Gomez, will arrive in Israel ahead of the competition and will start their journey in Jerusalem before heading to host city Eilat. 

The 70th Miss Universe will air live from the resort city of Eilat on Dec. 12, 7 p.m. Eastern time (Dec. 13, 8 a.m. in the Philippines).