Saudi Arabia in Transition: Rumy Alqahtani Enters Miss Universe, a Historic Moment under Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman Al Saud

Saudi Arabia in Transition: Rumy Alqahtani Enters Miss Universe, a Historic Moment under Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman Al Saud

New Delhi, 26 March 2024

Saudi Arabia’s landmark entry into the Miss Universe competition this year marks a significant milestone for the country. Rumy Alqahtani, aged 27, took to Instagram to announce her participation, making her the first contestant to represent the country in the prestigious international beauty pageant. The event is set to take place on September 18 in Mexico.

Alqahtani’s decision to compete follows in the footsteps of Lujane Yacoub from Bahrain, who made history last year as the first contestant from the Gulf region to participate in Miss Universe.

This development is a pivotal moment for the empowerment of Saudi women. Alqahtani has a track record of participating in various international pageants on behalf of her country, including Miss Asia Malaysia, Miss Arab Peace, and Miss Europe. Fluent in Arabic, French, and English, she boasts a substantial following on Instagram and other social media platforms, with millions of followers. Additionally, she holds a bachelor’s degree in dentistry.

The move underscores Saudi Arabia’s ongoing transition under the leadership of Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman Al Saud. Since assuming the role of crown prince in June 2017, the 38-year-old has overseen significant changes in the nation. His ambitious “Vision 2030” initiative, aimed at introducing social and economic reforms, has been instrumental in driving these transformations.

Under Prince Mohammed’s leadership, Saudi Arabia has witnessed groundbreaking shifts, including the lifting of the ban on women driving, the permission for women to attend public concerts and sporting events alongside men, and the ability for women to obtain passports without male guardianship. Furthermore, the country has embraced mixed-gender activities and revoked its long-standing ban on movie theaters, signaling a departure from traditional customs and norms.

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