Is Miss Universe UAE going ahead? Pageant opens voting site and leaves space for Emirates

This week, the Miss Universe UAE coronation night was cancelled and a new date remains unannounced, but there is still time to crown a winner

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The Miss Universe Organisation has officially opened its online voting poll for the 70th Miss Universe pageant set to be held in Eilat, Israel, on December 12.

The poll asks fans to pick their favourites to move on to the semi-finals and has headshots of each participating country’s representative, including biographies, although some nations have been left with a blank space for now, including the UAE.

Scroll through the gallery above for behind-the-scenes photos of the Miss Universe UAE auditions.

On Sunday, the planned coronation night for the first Miss Universe UAE pageant was cancelled owing to “time constraints”, according to a statement posted by organisers on their Instagram Stories.

A new date has not been announced, but the submission deadline for national winners is still 10 days away.

The names of 30 finalists were to be announced ahead of the historic coronation night, which was meant to name the first representative from the UAE at the global beauty pageant. Organisers have so far revealed the names of 25 contestants, which include three Emirati hopefuls, but have not posted any updates in more than two weeks.

The competition was not limited to UAE citizens. Josh Yugen, president and national director of Miss Universe UAE, told The National that the Miss Universe Organisation had modified the rules “to give everyone an opportunity”.

“So many of us call this country home and it will be such a matter of pride to be able to represent it on a global stage. It’s just logical,” he said.

The Miss Universe UAE website crashed hours after it went live, with a record 15,000 applicants, said Yugen, whose company, Yugen Events, has been chosen to select the first UAE representative for the global beauty contest.

National directors are being given until Saturday, November 20, to crown their winners or name their candidates, and then upload headshots and biographies to the Miss Universe poll site.

Organisers have not responded to The National's requests for comment on whether or not a local winner will still be appointed in time.

Updated: November 10, 2021, 11:06 AM