A fashion first: Bahraini model competes for crown in world's toughest beauty pageant

Published February 26th, 2013 - 05:28 GMT
Shaila Sabt is the first Arab Gulf woman to be nominated for Miss Universe. (Photo courtesy of Elaph)
Shaila Sabt is the first Arab Gulf woman to be nominated for Miss Universe. (Photo courtesy of Elaph)

A Bahraini model has been nominated for Miss Universe 2013, becoming the first Arab Gulf women to take part in the largest beauty pageant in the world.

In an interview with Elaph website, which reported the news, Shaila Sabt called for all fans in the Gulf and the Arab World to support and vote for her. 

Sabt was previously crowned as “Bahrain’s Top Model 2010” during a six-month-long event where an audience voted for who they wanted to be crowned the top model. A panel of referees was responsible for the screening, assortment and vote counting. 

At about the age of 23, Sabt has solidified her career in modeling in the Middle East and now takes her beauty to the world stage.

However, Sabt isn’t just a beauty. She has a bachelor degree in Human resources, even though she has previously expressed in an interview with Khaleejesque, a Gulf fashion website that her main dream is to become an international model that represents her country.

Miss Universe delegates usually have certain characteristics. As individuals they have a will to advance their careers, personal and humanitarian goals, and as women seek to improve the lives of others.

There have been other Arab nominees for Miss Universe. In 2012, Lebanese-Australian beauty Jessica Kahawaty won third place in the Miss World 2012 competition, as a representative of Australia.

It was not Kahawaty’s first bid in beauty contests; she participated in the 2008 Miss Lebanon Emigrant and also competed for Miss Lebanon 2010.

Among other beauty contestants with Lebanese heritage, Rima Fakih won the 2010 Miss USA title, becoming the first Arab-American and the first Muslim to win that title.

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