Debanjali Kamstra, who has consistently been one of the top contenders in the public vote that contributes to deciding the 15 finalists of the Mrs World pageant, narrowly missed out on securing the crown.
Kamstra, 35, made it to the top three, as announced at a glittering ceremony on Saturday in Las Vegas, which is the location of this year’s pageant.
She joined contestants from Jordan, the Philippines, India, Romania, Malaysia, Sri Lanka, America, Uganda, Zambia, Canada, South Korea and Russia in the semi-finals.
Shortly after, those candidates were narrowed down to the top six, with UAE, Jordan, South Korea, Sri Lanka and two from America making it through that round.
Kamstra then joined Mrs Jordan and Mrs American in the top three, where she finished as second runner-up. Mrs American Shaylyn Ford won the contest, followed by Mrs Jordan Jaclyn Stapp as first runner-up.
Kamstra made it into the questions round, when she was asked what she wanted the judges and the world to know about her. "I want the world to know that I am a woman who has started her life from scratch and I have never been gifted with everything I've wanted, so I have worked really hard to achieve everything," she said.
"Being the pioneering United Arab Emirates contestant, I'm [for the] first time representing the country in the platform of the world and, if I become Mrs World, I will do a lot for the people of determination as I want them to have jobs and I also want to support the children with autism."
Kamstra also showed off her gold falcon-inspired national costume, which was designed by Filipino talent Cary Santiago, on Saturday.
The award for best costume went to Mrs India, but Kamstra won Most Exotic Costume.
The new Mrs World was crowned on Saturday at the Westgate Las Vegas Resort & Casino. The four-hour event started at 5pm Pacific Time.
The Mrs World final was available to watch via live stream across the world.
Who is Debanjali Kamstra?
Indian architect and mum-of-two, Kamstra has lived in the UAE for nearly 14 years. A former cabin crew with Emirates, Kamstra launched interior design firm Veloche about 10 years ago, and also helms two more companies, one selling home interiors and the other dealing in healthy snacks and drinks.
She is the first Mrs UAE World in the pageant’s history. “It was a friend who encouraged me to apply,” she told The National. “I immediately got a call back from Mrs World saying they were surprised because no one from the UAE had ever applied before. We then did a couple of rounds of interviews before I was told I'd been selected as Mrs UAE World.”
Kamstra married her husband, Christiaan, in 2012 and the couple live in Dubai with their two daughters, Victoria, 6, and Tiffany, 5.
In the lead-up to the contest, Kamstra says she coached herself in the history of the Emirates, plus make-up, posture and diction. In keeping with the UAE’s inclusive laws for people of determination, she says her focus will be working with this group alongside other social work.
What is Mrs World?
The pageant was founded in 1984. Its aim is to “celebrate the uniqueness of married women” as well as their families and communities, and has taken place around the world, from India and Russia to South Africa and South Korea.
To enter, contestants must be married at the date of entry, be at least 18 years old and a resident of the country for which they compete, with organisers looking for “poised, articulate and stunning” women.
Mrs World 2021 was Ireland's Kate Schneider.