August 18, 2012 - 13:02 AMT
PanARMENIAN.Net - Beauty queens from all over the planet made final preparations to compete for the Miss World title on Saturday, August 18 in a Chinese mining city on the edge of the Gobi desert.
A total of 116 contestants the highest number ever were scheduled to don their finest evening gowns and swimwear for the evening contest, which is watched annually by around a billion people around the globe.
This year it takes place on the arid and sparsely populated steppes of Inner Mongolia, where Ordos, around 700 kilometres (440 miles) from the nearest beach, makes an unlikely setting for the world's biggest beauty pageant.
Reigning Miss World Ivian Sarcos of Venezuela will hand over her crown in the futuristic Ordos stadium, which sits alongside a vast town square dedicated to the mighty Mongolian warrior Genghis Khan, AFP reported.