Saudi Arabia to make Miss Universe debut in 2024 with Rumy Alqahtani

  • 29/03/2024
Rumy Alqahtani.
Rumy Alqahtani. Photo credit: Instagram/Rumy Alqahtani

Saudi Arabia is set to compete in the Miss Universe pageant for the first time in history with Rumy Alqahtani representing the country.

The 27-year-old model and influencer from Riyadh expressed her gratitude on Instagram, where she has around a million followers.

"I am honoured to participate in the Miss Universe 2024 competition. This marks the first participation of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia in the Miss Universe pageant," Alqahtani captioned photos of her posing in a ballgown and tiara, holding the nation's flag.

Miss Universe 2024 will take place in Mexico on November 18 and will also reportedly feature Iran's inaugural entry.

Alqahtani's participation follows Lujane Yacoub of Bahrain featuring in the 2023 competition as the first woman from the Gulf region to participate.

As well as being crowned Miss Saudi Arabia, Alqahtani also holds other Arabian beauty titles and has already represented her country in various international pageants including Miss Asia, Miss Arab Peace and Miss Europe.

She has a Bachelor's degree in dentistry and is also fluent in English and French.

Saudi Arabia's participation in the Miss Universe pageant is part of the country's push to show the world it is undergoing social and economic reforms, including women's rights.

However, the Saudi government-ordered brutal murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi in Turkey in 2018 has hampered the attempts to appear reformed, as have ongoing human rights concerns.

Women's rights in the Islamic country remain a concern internationally.

Nicaragua's Sheynnis Palacios, the current holder of the Miss Universe title, will pass on her crown to the next Miss Universe at the Mexico event later this year.