DUBAI: Casablanca-born beauty queen Fatima-Zahra Khayat is set to represent Morocco at the Miss Universe 2021 pageant in Eilat, Israel, on Dec. 12, 2021.
Khayat, who is based in Paris, is the first contestant selected to represent the North African country in 43 years, succeeding Miss Universe Morocco 1978 Majida Tazi.
The Miss Universe Morocco organization hosted the 2021 edition of its national pageant on Nov. 7 where stunning delegates from all over the country competed for the coveted title and an opportunity to represent the country at the 70th edition of the prestigious beauty pageant.
Khayat beat out 79 other hopefuls to claim the crown.
“Today, I’m proud to be the ambassador of @missuniversemorocco for this year,” wrote Khayat on Instagram alongside a beaming photo of herself donning a Miss Universe Morocco sash and crown.
“I want to thank all the people that were here to support me and encourage me. I will represent the Moroccan women the best way. Moroccan and proud to be,” the 26-year-old financial adviser added.
Khayat and the yet-to-be-announced Miss Universe UAE are the only two women representing the Arab world at the competition, although Spain’s Sarah Loinaz was born to a Moroccan mother.
Miss Universe UAE announced on Sunday it was canceling its live coronation that was to take place that day citing “time constraint.”
The 70th Miss Universe pageant will see Miss Universe 2020 Andrea Maza crowning her successor after seven months of reign. It will also see the return of veteran television personality Steve Harvey as host.
The three-hour event will be broadcasted live on Fox in the United States and in 180 countries and territories in December.