She was only in Dubai for a whistlestop visit, but Miss Universe certainly made the most of her time in the emirate.
Pia Wurtzbach, the reigning beauty pageant winner, jetted into the UAE for an appearance at Dragon Mart 2 on Friday 17 November, but spent the rest of her weekend venturing outside the city’s sprawling shopping spots.
The 27-year-old, who was accidentally announced the runner-up of Miss Universe in a now-infamous bungle by this year’s MC Steve Harvey, donned an elegant black hijab and jumpsuit as she joined a desert safari tour.
The Filipina documented her trip on social media, where she appeared to get into the spirit of things with an adventurous 4×4 trek and a camel ride.
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It looks like the sandy dunes won over Wurtzbach, who wrote on social media: “Disclaimer: This is not a set. Dubai is literally just THAT beautiful!”
(We concur, but we are a tad biased).
A photo posted by Pia Alonzo Wurtzbach (@missuniverse) on
“It was great,” Wurtzbach told Gulf News of the evening safari. “That was actually a surprise. My itinerary it didn’t say that we were going on a desert safari, but it was a pleasant surprise definitely when we arrived.
“When we got there it was just amazing. I’ve never seen anything like it. I only see it on photos, but now I see it in person. It was really great.”
The beauty queen also dropped by Ibn Battuta mall during her visit, as well as her appearance at Dragon Mart 2 where hundreds turned out to hear her speak.
The reigning Miss Universe said that the competition has changed her life, and her days are now filled with charity work, photo shoots, endorsments, and lots of travelling.
“Tomorrow’s always going to be a surprise,” she told the cheering crowd, revealing that a whopping two million people turned out for her homecoming parade in her native Philippines.
She left some encouraging words with her fans, reminding them that it took her three attempts to win her Miss Philippines sash before she could enter the global beauty pageant.
“I trusted my instinct and I was right,” she said, “so I encourage everybody that if you have a dream, you follow it.”
Images: Miss Universe/Twitter