UAE to host 71st Miss World pageant
MANILA, Philippines — After much anticipation, the Miss World Organization (MWO) has finally announced the host country for its 2023 contest in May, and it is in the United Arab Emirates.
“I am delighted to announce the 71st Miss World Festival will be held in the United Arab Emirates,” the organization’s president Julia Morley was quoted as saying in a social media post from the pageant.
The previous edition was held in March 2022, which was technically the 2021 competition. It commenced in Puerto Rico in December 2021 with more than 100 delegates, but was sidetracked by a COVID-19 outbreak among delegates, staff members, and officials.
Only the Top 40 delegates returned for the contest’s resumption in the Caribbean territory in March 2022, with Poland’s Karolina Bielawska capturing the crown. She was originally scheduled to relinquish the title later in the year, but MWO opted not to hold any competition.
MWO also did not mount a competition in 2020 because of the COVID-19 pandemic.
French-Filipino model Gwendolyne Fourniol was crowned Miss World Philippines in June 2022, in anticipation of a Miss World staging in the last quarter of the year. But little did she and the national organization know that she would be waiting for almost a year before seeing action overseas.
Since her coronation as the Philippines’ official Miss World delegate, Fourniol has been busy with outreach programs under the ERDA (Educational Research and Development Assistance) Foundation, with whom she has gotten in touch even before winning her national crown.
The foundation has helped provide education for her mother, who was then living in an impoverished community in Negros Occidental. As a way of giving back, Fourniol and her mother, along with other family members, have been volunteering for the group, and offering resources and assistance whenever they can.
Fourniol is now faced with the insurmountable task of scoring the Philippines’ second victory in the international competition. Megan Young remains to be the lone Filipino woman to be proclaimed Miss World. She won in the 2013 contest staged in Indonesia.
With MWO’s announcement, the Miss International pageant is now the only major global pageant that has yet to announce its venue for 2023. Organizer International Cultural Association (ICA) in Japan, however, said the competition will be held in the third week of November.
The Philippine-based Miss Earth pageant was the first to announce a host country for 2023 when organizer Carousel Productions signed a hosting contract with a Vietnamese group late last year.
The Miss Universe pageant, during the staging of its 71st edition held in New Orleans, Louisiana, in the United States in January, announced that El Salvador will host the 72nd installment of the international competition later this year. EDV