Miss China, Yu Wenxia, has been crowned Miss World 2012 in front of a home crowd in the inner Mongolian mining city of Ordos on the edge of the Gobi desert.
According to Agence France-Presse, Ordos has gone from "sandstorm-afflicted backwater" to one of the wealthiest places in China on the back of a coal mining boom.
It is not the first time a Chinese city has hosted the contest: Sanya, a beach-resort city on the southern Chinese island of Hainan, held the event several times, the Wall Street Journal wrote.
Ordos officials hoped that the Miss World event, watched by a worldwide TV audience of an estimated one billion viewers, would raise the city's profile, it added.
The ceremony included a nod to Inner Mongolian culture — a group of Mongolian musicians playing the erhu, a traditional two-stringed instrument, AFP wrote.
Yu, 23, a music student, beat out 115 other contestants to become the second Chinese woman to be awarded the title, after Zhang Zilin in 2007.
Venezuela has produced more Miss World title holders than any country, with six winners, including Ivian Sarcos Colmenares in 2011.
Yu said she wanted to become a music teacher, according to NBC adding: "When I was young I felt very lucky because so many people helped me and I hope in the future, I can help more children to feel lucky."
A Welsh national, Sophie Elizabeth Moulds, was named first runner-up and Australian Jessica Michelle Kahawaty second runner-up.
More from GlobalPost: Actress Zhang Ziyi denies claims she slept with Bo Xilai and other Chinese politicians