The Debutante Ball in the Dubai

Dubai launches its own society event where young girls mix with eligible men on private island

Prestigious Ball

  • Debutantes presented to aristocracy at a prestigious ball in Dubai
  • Girls aged 16-20 wore white dresses as a sign of their innocence and purity
  • Debutantes also took part in social, business and etiquette classes
  • Event was held on the exclusive and privately-owned Royal Island
  • Historically, the balls were used to present high-society girls at royal court

It is an archaic tradition perceived by many to be outdated and elitist – with Prince Philip once deeming it ‘bloody daft’. But now the presentation of young debutantes to elite society bachelors has been resurrected in Dubai.

At a glitzy recreation of the British Queen Charlotte’s Ball, girls of ‘marrying age’ showed off their poise, elegance and grace at The London Season Ball on Royal Island.Presentation: Debutantes (l-r) Anna Zaphiriou-Zarifi, Isabella Robinson, Nicole Gilmer and Eloise Knight are shown off to the aristocracy at the The London Season Ball in Dubai.

Dubai BachelorsThe debutantes mix with eligible young men during the ball, which was based on the historic Queen Charlotte’s Ball, held annually at the Royal Courts of Justice in London. Accompanied by eligible male escorts, they wore their hair in elegant knots and donned white dresses as a sign of their innocence and purity.They also put the etiquette skills they had been taught at The London Season Academy into practice.

Debutante BallThe ball, featuring a charity auction and speeches, was held on the exclusive and privately-owned Royal Island, part of the World Islands development off the coast of Dubai, on Thursday. It attracted about 150 well-heeled  and royal guests from Europe and the Middle East region, including X Factor finalist Jahmene Douglas. The girls were accompanied by male escorts – dubbed the ‘debs delights’ – including (l-r) Neil Matthias, 18, Matthew Philips, 17, Raunak Bhojwani, 18, Thomas Francis, 17, Jack Staply, 17 and Owen Westall also 17. Earlier in the day, the debutantes, aged 16 and 20, took part in a range of social, business and etiquette classes at The Emirates Towers. They were taught how to cut a scone, prepare afternoon tea and shake hands correctly.

prestigious ballThey were also advised on codes of conduct by Her Royal Highness Princess Katarina of Yugoslavia, the Duchess of Somerset and Sir Tobias Clarke. The prestigious event was based on the historic Queen Charlotte’s Ball, held annually at the Royal Courts of Justice in London. Up until 1958, young debutantes used to be presented to the Queen at Buckingham Palace, until Prince Philip pointed out that it was ‘bloody daft’. The event, introduced by King George III in 1780 as a way to celebrate his wife’s birthday, was seen as a rite of passage for upper-class girls. Parents hoped their daughters would meet a potential suitor – with organisers aiming to equip the young women with poise, confidence and social skills needed for their married lives.

Ball Dubai EventHowever, as well as Prince Phillip’s dismissal, the Queen felt such an elitist event was at odds with her desire for a more modern monarchy. Her sister, Princess Margaret, was also apparently not a fan – reportedly saying: ‘We had to put a stop to it – every tart in London was getting in.’ On its website, the London Season Academy says it ‘aims to carry on British traditions and promote etiquette’. It adds: ‘Etiquette in a multicultural society is important in helping to navigate social occasions and to avoid unintentional offence when communicating with people from varying cultures. ‘It is also paramount in international business situations, where different cultures adhere to entirely different codes of conduct.’ -Dailymail