The news that the UAE will be hosting this year’s Miss World pageant has become a talking point (more details are awaited on exact venue). A hat tip to the fact that this is the event’s debut in the Middle East. One of the leadings hubs in the world in the arena of beauty and fashion and fitness — all the usual tags associated with beauty pageants — cities like Dubai and Abu Dhabi seem a natural fit in ‘on the face of it’. But then, beauty is more than skin deep. That’s what the Miss World pageant has demonstrated, and reinstated, is that beauty lies within. So, it’s almost fitting that the UAE will be the venue of an event of such magnitude: aside from its structural and lifestyle marvels, the country boasts a soul and a passion to excel. With this piece of news, the Middle East is truly breaking the glass barrier in soft power. The Qatar Fifa World Cup is already being acknowledged as having been the best organised event in its league — this despite the naysayers being prophets of doom. With Miss World being hosted in the region, it’s clear that this part of the world will be setting many more agendas — and not necessarily in the tried and tested sectors.
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Women and girls play a critical role in science and technology and education plays a vital role in strengthening their participation