Louth native Ailís Hughes will represent Dubai in the Rose of Tralee International Festival in August.
She is one of 23 Roses who were shortlisted to proceed to the televised stages of the event in Tralee.
Ailís who was brought up on Carlingford was shocked at the news.
“I absolutely can not believe it, I’m just so shocked, said Ailís. “Everyone has been amazing here in Portlaoise and I’m really looking forward to August.
“I’m actually the 20th Dubai Rose this year so we’re so delighted that we’re going to down to Tralee.
“We have had such a massive Irish community in Dubai. There’s 6,000 people, so to represent those people in August is just unbelievable.
Ailís moved to Dubai after three years teaching in London. “I love the attitude in Dubai, anything really is possible and to get a city atmosphere so close to a relaxing beach setting, it is a privilege to live there.
Having spent summers in both Africa and Romania working with children Ailís believes giving your time to help others is vital.
“This year, as a part of my Rose duties, I visited Nepal to support young girls who are often forced into early marriages; building their confidence and teaching them about their rights.”
Ailís also admits to being a travel addict. “Dubai is the perfect base for this, and I have travelled to most continents with the hope of seeing more in the next few years.
“My utmost favourite thing in life is laughing and anyone who knows my sense of humour knows it is very basic (all it takes is a dog on a skateboard).
“I want to be remembered as a fun, relaxed Rose who is always smiling.”