An Irish Girl Represented Dubai As A Rose In An Irish Pageant And Now She's Giving Back To The Local Community
(You could do it too, but there are a couple of catches)
Like Miss America in the States and Binibining Pilipinas in the Philippines, Ireland has its own pageant of sorts and it's called the Rose of Tralee.
But like the Irish people; the Rose of Tralee has less fuss, and more charm.
Why is this Dubai relevant?
Every year, one lady from every Irish county gets chosen to be a Rose, along with an Irish representative (any Irish heritage counts) from other countries. They meet in Ireland in August for ten-day countrywide tour, followed by a televised show, where one Rose is named the Rose of Tralee.
Meet Lisa O'Donohue - the 2017/18 Dubai Rose
Before and since her trip to Ireland, she's been using the year to make a change in the local community here in Dubai.
Each year, a Rose is picked to represent Dubai
Lisa has been living in Dubai for two years and works in marketing.
She applied for a bit of fun, never expecting to get chosen.
But a bit of fun developed into what she considers a life-changing experience.
The role encourages social responsibility among the roses, and provides some pretty epic opportunities (including returning home, the chance to volunteer internationally and be part of a St Patrick's Day parade in the States).
This is a chance to show Irish people what life in the Middle East is like
Lisa used it as a platform to do so when she went back to Ireland, and it could be an opportunity for you to do the same. (Application details below)
From the moment she was chosen, the support from the Irish community in Dubai was huge. She was flown home and welcomed in Dublin by the UAE Embassy before beginning the ten-day tour with the other Roses.
There's also an Abu Dhabi Irish Rose, however if you're living in Fujairah or RAK you can apply for the Dubai Rose.
The buzz surrounding the event in Ireland is amazing
Lisa didn't make it to the live show, but the journey doesn't end in Ireland...
You've got one year to make the most of it
And there are so many ways to get involved in the local community here...
Lisa mentioned the Abtaal Al Jalila Volunteeer Programme - a volunteer initiative at the first hospital dedicated to children in the UAE hosts a 'superhero' reading group, where residents dress like super heroes and read to the children (more info here).
Her best moments so far have been interacting with people along the way, and particularly the kid's shocked reactions when they spotted the entourage of Roses during the tour.
So Lisa is using her time as Dubai Rose hoping to inspire confidence with her message...
Applications are now open for the 2018 Dubai Rose Selection
(Women in RAK and Sharjah are invited to apply for the Dubai Rose)
There are a couple of eligibility requirements; it's ladies only and you'll need some Irish heritage