Move over Arabian beauty: Asians are King in Dubai's all-male 'international' pageant

Published October 16th, 2012 - 15:31 GMT

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The weather forecast was set – testosterone clouds teeming over Dubai signaled it would be raining men.  Petty picture politics, Emirati  hitches and all manner of stumbling blocks notwithstanding, the postponed date arrived and with it the man-parade that the ladies awaited.

On Saturday 13 October, 23 strapping lads thrashed it out for the glory of being crowned 'Mr. World International 2012 Middle East'. And it was survival of the 'fittest' in the man-on-man battle at Dubai's luxury H Hotel.  Continue reading below »

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The winners realized that all of the exercise, revision and beautifying had been worth it when they were presented with their certificates, trophies and, most importantly, the money-can't-buy honor of knowing that they have been judged as the finest men in the world…or at least of cosmopolitan Dubai.
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Image 1 of 7:  1 / 7The winners realized that all of the exercise, revision and beautifying had been worth it when they were presented with their certificates, trophies and, most importantly, the money-can't-buy honor of knowing that they have been judged as the finest men in the world…or at least of cosmopolitan Dubai.

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Winner, top model and fashionista: A proud day for Pakistan, 24-year-old Assem Shaikh was crowned 'Mr World International 2012'. But, with great power comes great responsibility- having already achieved world domination, Assem must oil-up and work-out if he wants the ultimate acclaim of Mr Universe.
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Image 2 of 7:  2 / 7Winner, top model and fashionista: A proud day for Pakistan, 24-year-old Assem Shaikh was crowned 'Mr World International 2012'. But, with great power comes great responsibility- having already achieved world domination, Assem must oil-up and work-out if he wants the ultimate acclaim of Mr Universe.

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Fit Filipino finesse: Doing away with popular thought, it's beauty before age in Mr World with 32-year-old Rafael Ingresso losing out to the youngsters and coming in third.
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Image 3 of 7:  3 / 7Fit Filipino finesse: Doing away with popular thought, it's beauty before age in Mr World with 32-year-old Rafael Ingresso losing out to the youngsters and coming in third.

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A popular choice amongst judges and Facebook fans alike, 23-year-old Justin Francisco of the Philippines might have narrowly missed out on the title of Mr World but he was still the people's number one, taking home the Facebook Choice Award.
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Image 4 of 7:  4 / 7A popular choice amongst judges and Facebook fans alike, 23-year-old Justin Francisco of the Philippines might have narrowly missed out on the title of Mr World but he was still the people's number one, taking home the Facebook Choice Award.

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Another score for the Filipino corner: 29-year-old Philip Abelos might not be Mr World material, but - thanks to the judges - he can now tell the world that he is Mr Tourism!
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Image 5 of 7:  5 / 7Another score for the Filipino corner: 29-year-old Philip Abelos might not be Mr World material, but - thanks to the judges - he can now tell the world that he is Mr Tourism!

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This fine Nepalese soldier can take pride in placing his face and country firmly in the winners' gallery. Nicolas Alberto Molina came in second runner up. Although he's sure to be upset not to have won, at just  22 years old he is taking comfort in the fact that there's always next year!
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Image 6 of 7:  6 / 7This fine Nepalese soldier can take pride in placing his face and country firmly in the winners' gallery. Nicolas Alberto Molina came in second runner up. Although he's sure to be upset not to have won, at just 22 years old he is taking comfort in the fact that there's always next year!

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Giving a worldly touch to the competition, the men donned their countries' traditional costume with some using the opportunity to flash a bit of flesh to the judges in their bid for victory!
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Image 7 of 7:  7 / 7Giving a worldly touch to the competition, the men donned their countries' traditional costume with some using the opportunity to flash a bit of flesh to the judges in their bid for victory!

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The winners realized that all of the exercise, revision and beautifying had been worth it when they were presented with their certificates, trophies and, most importantly, the money-can't-buy honor of knowing that they have been judged as the finest men in the world…or at least of cosmopolitan Dubai.

Image 1 of 7The winners realized that all of the exercise, revision and beautifying had been worth it when they were presented with their certificates, trophies and, most importantly, the money-can't-buy honor of knowing that they have been judged as the finest men in the world…or at least of cosmopolitan Dubai.

2

Winner, top model and fashionista: A proud day for Pakistan, 24-year-old Assem Shaikh was crowned 'Mr World International 2012'. But, with great power comes great responsibility- having already achieved world domination, Assem must oil-up and work-out if he wants the ultimate acclaim of Mr Universe.

Image 2 of 7Winner, top model and fashionista: A proud day for Pakistan, 24-year-old Assem Shaikh was crowned 'Mr World International 2012'. But, with great power comes great responsibility- having already achieved world domination, Assem must oil-up and work-out if he wants the ultimate acclaim of Mr Universe.

3

Fit Filipino finesse: Doing away with popular thought, it's beauty before age in Mr World with 32-year-old Rafael Ingresso losing out to the youngsters and coming in third.

Image 3 of 7Fit Filipino finesse: Doing away with popular thought, it's beauty before age in Mr World with 32-year-old Rafael Ingresso losing out to the youngsters and coming in third.

4

A popular choice amongst judges and Facebook fans alike, 23-year-old Justin Francisco of the Philippines might have narrowly missed out on the title of Mr World but he was still the people's number one, taking home the Facebook Choice Award.

Image 4 of 7A popular choice amongst judges and Facebook fans alike, 23-year-old Justin Francisco of the Philippines might have narrowly missed out on the title of Mr World but he was still the people's number one, taking home the Facebook Choice Award.

5

Another score for the Filipino corner: 29-year-old Philip Abelos might not be Mr World material, but - thanks to the judges - he can now tell the world that he is Mr Tourism!

Image 5 of 7Another score for the Filipino corner: 29-year-old Philip Abelos might not be Mr World material, but - thanks to the judges - he can now tell the world that he is Mr Tourism!

6

This fine Nepalese soldier can take pride in placing his face and country firmly in the winners' gallery. Nicolas Alberto Molina came in second runner up. Although he's sure to be upset not to have won, at just  22 years old he is taking comfort in the fact that there's always next year!

Image 6 of 7This fine Nepalese soldier can take pride in placing his face and country firmly in the winners' gallery. Nicolas Alberto Molina came in second runner up. Although he's sure to be upset not to have won, at just 22 years old he is taking comfort in the fact that there's always next year!

7

Giving a worldly touch to the competition, the men donned their countries' traditional costume with some using the opportunity to flash a bit of flesh to the judges in their bid for victory!

Image 7 of 7Giving a worldly touch to the competition, the men donned their countries' traditional costume with some using the opportunity to flash a bit of flesh to the judges in their bid for victory!

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There was nowhere to hide as the judges cast their eagle eyes on the competitors' physical appearance, intelligence and special talent. Mr World of course needs to be a man of multiple skills - Bonnie Tyler might have wanted a strong, fast, fresh from the fight kind of guy - but for these judges, model style, impeccable speech and a winning face were the mark of an international hero.

Blink and you missed the Arab ingredient

Mr. World International, 2012, Middle East has come and gone, and if you're a man about town in the region that fancies himself hot stuff, then you've missed your boat and will have to wait til next year. You could have taken the 'Middle East' out of the contest, if this gallery of Far East finalists was anything to go by. The title went to the proud-as-punch Pakistani Mr Aseem Shaikh, crowned the honor of “Mr World International 2012, Middle East”. 

Other male hopefuls– from India, Pakistan, Nepal, Syria, Jordan, Palestine, The Philippines, Tunisia, Egypt, Russia, Kenya, China and the UAE -  all Dubai residents - came from the Arab world as much as the wider globe, but the winning gallery looked distinctly un-Arabian. This was a fairly accurate representation of Dubai’s migrant make up, and while finalist countries represented included the Arab map, the winners' panel - primarily Filipino with a dash of Pakistan and Nepal - did not. 

Mr World International, 2012, Middle East was the Gulf’s diverse showcase of migrant workers. Sweating it out under the Emirati sun by day, these men know how to capitalize on their downtime, while giving back to their community with capital entertainment.

Mr. World International 2012 was brought to you by Mr. Aaron Panegro, sponsored by Mayaza Productions Dubai, UAE.

 

What do you think of this male-model beauty pageant? Are you glad no one rained on their man-parade? Do you agree with the judges' choices?

 

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