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About WorldSkills Abu Dhabi 2017

What are the dates and location of WorldSkills Competition?

Abu Dhabi, the capital of the United Arab Emirates, will host the 44th WorldSkills Competition at the Abu Dhabi National Exhibition Centre (ADNEC), the largest exhibition centre in the Middle East, from 14 -19 October 2017.

Where can I get more info about WSAD 2017?

You can get all the information about the Competition from our website. There you can find all the breaking news from the 44th biennial Competition, as it unfolds. We will soon be uploading the Competition handbook on the website which you can download for detailed information before reaching the event. 

What is the WorldSkills Competition?

The biennial WorldSkills Competition is the largest vocational education and skills excellence event in the world. The Competitors represent the best of their peers and are selected from Skills competitions in WorldSkills Member countries and regions. The Competitors are all under the age of 23 (except for four skills that have the age limit of 25). They demonstrate technical abilities both individually and collectively to execute specific tasks for which they study and/or perform in their workplace.

Which countries are participating at WSAD 2017?

Close to 1,300 Competitors from nearly 60 Member Countries and Regions are taking part at WorldSkills Abu Dhabi 2017. You can check the list of teams.

Do I need to register to cover the competition? 

It is mandatory for all media representatives to get accreditation to access the event and the media centre at the venue. Accredited press members will be allowed to cover the grand opening and closing ceremonies which will be held on October 14 and October 19 respectively at the du arena on Yas Island, Abu Dhabi’s vibrant outdoor entertainment venue. You can register for media accreditation here.

How can I attend the opening and closing ceremonies of WSAD 2017?

Accredited press will be entitled to attend the grand opening and closing ceremonies at WSAD 2017. We would request that the accredited press member confirm their attendance in advance to enable us to allocate adequate space in the media arena.

Will there be live streaming at the competition?

We are pleased to announce there will be a live streaming service during the opening and closing ceremonies. The service will be available on our website.

How can I interview with the official spokespersons of WorldSkills and/or WSAD 2017?

We will endeavour to accommodate all interviews requests with the appropriate spokesperson(s), but accredited media will be required to send a request in advance to members of our press team. In some cases, we will try to accommodate on-site requests, but it is not always guaranteed.

How can I request an interview with any competitor?

Yes, we can facilitate interviews with Competitors who are happy to share their stories. However, given participants busy schedules during the Competition we are mindful not to disturb them during their training sessions or during the Competition itself. Therefore, we request press representatives to submit their requests in advance so we can get the requisite approval of the team leaders of the respective Member Country or Region and arrange an appropriate time for the interview.

How can I access photos/videos from the competition?

We will have several professional photographers at the venue who will upload all their photos and video footage on our dedicated website.

What is the best way to get the schedule for the Skill areas? 

We will issue and upload a daily Competition schedule for each Skill area, and schedule handouts will be available at the press centre for the duration of the Competition. It will include the start and end time of each Skill Competition and location map of each  Skill Competition.

What facilities will be available at the media centre?

Our press centre will be open to all accredited media personnel which will be equipped with laptops with internet access, printer facilities, Competition promotional materials and press kits, light refreshments, and a communications team available to assist any of your queries.

Whom do I contact if I have questions?

Domestic and international media members can reach our WSAD 2017 international press team at Sofia.Gomaa@worldskillsabudhabi2017.com.

About Abu Dhabi

Where is Abu Dhabi located?

Abu Dhabi is the capital and the largest of the UAE’s seven emirates. It is located on the southern coast of the Arabian Gulf and borders Oman and Saudi Arabia. 

What is the local time in Abu Dhabi?

The UAE is four hours ahead of Coordinated Universal Time (UTC).

What is the weather like in Abu Dhabi?

Abu Dhabi has a sub-tropical, arid climate, with hot and humid summers and warm and sunny winters. Sunny blue skies and high temperatures can be expected most of the year. The cooler months, November to April, are the most popular time for visitors.

What disabled friendly facilities are available in Abu Dhabi?

The vast majority of Abu Dhabi's public places and public transport are disabled friendly. Many of the emirate’s five-star attractions, tourist hotspots, shopping malls and heritage sites are wheelchair friendly and accessible for adults and children with disabilities. Abu Dhabi International Airport has a special check-in gate with direct access from the car park for wheelchair users, in addition to dedicated lifts and a meet-and-assist service.

Are there play areas and baby changing rooms available in Abu Dhabi’s hotels and malls? 

Abu Dhabi is a very family-friendly environment. Baby changing rooms, play areas and child facilities are available in shopping malls and hotels. As a rule, child care services are available in hotels year-round across the emirate, often at a surcharge. Many restaurants offers kids’ menus, high chairs and play areas.

What is the domestic electricity supply standard in Abu Dhabi?

Abu Dhabi’s electricity supply is 220/240 volts at 50 Hz. Square three-pin sockets are standard. It is advisable to bring a plug adapter with you, though most hotels can supply adapters for other kinds of plug and they can be bought locally.

Can I get the Internet access in public places, malls and hotels?

Most Abu Dhabi hotels offer complimentary internet access to guests. Many coffee shops and restaurants also offer wireless Internet access and free WiFi can often be found in Abu Dhabi taxis. In addition, Internet cafés are available in many locations across the emirate.

What is the official religion in Abu Dhabi?

Islam is the official religion of the UAE, and is widely practiced. Abu Dhabi is tolerant towards other religions and people are free to practice their religious beliefs in accordance with established customs.

Is there a dress code in Abu Dhabi?

There are varying ideas of the dress code and there are legal guidelines about what is acceptable, but, in general people are mostly allowed to wear what they like. However, to be respectful of the UAE culture, it is best to remain covered from shoulder at least to the knee, especially in public places like shopping malls or when sightseeing. Clothing should not be transparent. It is a good idea to have a loose shirt/jacket or shawl with you at all times even in hot weather as the mall, restaurant and cinema air conditioning can be extremely cold. 

Is English widely spoken in Abu Dhabi?

Despite Abu Dhabi being an Arabic-speaking emirate, the vast majority of the population speak English and most signs are in English too.

Is smoking allowed in Abu Dhabi?

Some food and beverage outlets allow smoking inside or have designated smoking areas, while others are smoke-free. Most business, shopping and leisure establishments have designated areas for smoking. 

What is the local currency and what is its current value?

The local currency is the UAE dirham - abbreviated as AED, Dh or Dhs. The Dirham is pegged to the USD. (1 USD = AED 3.6725)

Can I use my debit and credit cards to shop?

Most shops, hotels and restaurants in Abu Dhabi accept major credit and debit cards (Visa, MasterCard, American Express, etc.)

Can I negotiate for discounts at shops?

You may ask for the best price before you make your purchase.

Can I take photos or videos in Abu Dhabi?

Normal tourist photography is acceptable. However, tourists and residents should be aware of laws concerning photography. Visitors should avoid taking photographs of government organizations, political buildings, and military sites; they cannot be photographed for security reasons. Therefore, it is best to look for signs prohibiting photography. When there is no sign, taking photos is most likely permitted. It is advisable to ask people’s permission before photographing them, particularly UAE nationals. In addition, cameras may be banned in public areas designated for women and children only.

What are the best shopping deals in Abu Dhabi?

If you are looking for souvenirs like hand-woven carpets, local art or gold jewellery, Abu Dhabi’s vibrant souks might offer you the best deal. For luxury items, the current absence of Value Added Tax is an excellent incentive to buy.

Can I return or exchange my purchases in Abu Dhabi?

Generally, shops in Abu Dhabi allow customers to either return or exchange items within a given time frame. You will be requested to present the receipt.

Where can I eat in Abu Dhabi?

As a multi-cultural city, Abu Dhabi offers many dining options. From budget to blow-out, a diversity of restaurants across the emirate offer a vibrant and varied mix of international cuisines from around the world.

How much can I expect to spend for eating in restaurants in Abu Dhabi restaurant?

Average dining in popular hotel restaurants can range between AED100 (US $27) to AED200 (US $55) per person, excluding beverages. Many fine dining and high-end restaurants add additional charges to the bill (a 10% service charge and a tourism charge of 6%).

Is tipping common in Abu Dhabi?

Tipping is not expected, but is common in the emirate. If you are satisfied with the service, you may leave a tip of 10-15% of the total bill.

What are the official working hours in Abu Dhabi?

Government offices are generally open from 7am to 3pm or from 8am to 4pm Sunday to Thursday. Private sector employers normally work between 9am and 5pm (or 6pm), and some also may work on a Saturday.

When is the weekend in Abu Dhabi? 

Weekends in Abu Dhabi and the wider UAE are Fridays and Saturdays, and the start of the working week begins on a Sunday. 

How can I get around in Abu Dhabi?

Taxis are a very cheap, common and comfortable form of transport in Abu Dhabi. The fleet of taxis in Abu Dhabi is vast. You can flag down a taxi anywhere - as long as it is safe for the driver to stop. Most shopping malls have dedicated taxi stands. You can also book a taxi over the TransAD - the Abu Dhabi official taxi regulator - hotline (600 535353).

You can get around Abu Dhabi using taxis which can be either hailed by the roadside or booked by phone through the TransAD - Abu Dhabi’s official taxi regulator - hotline on 600 535353. A modern fleet of air-conditioned public buses also operates in Abu Dhabi. Alternatively, visitors can also discover the Emirate of Abu Dhabi by renting a car. You will need a valid driving license from your home country, or a valid international driving license. 

Where can I stay in Abu Dhabi?

Abu Dhabi offers a wide variety of accommodation to choose from, catering to those looking to stay on a budget or visitors wanting a luxury break. There are an extensive list of hotels or fully-furnished hotel apartments - ideal for families or for those who plan an extended stay in Abu Dhabi. 

What is the average room rate per night in Abu Dhabi hotels?

The average cost for a five-star double room in Abu Dhabi is AED 590 (US$161), excluding taxes (16%). Rates may or may not include breakfast. For a hotel apartment, an average night rate is AED 370 (US$ 100) for a double room.

Is Abu Dhabi safe for tourists?

Safety is one of the UAE capital's biggest selling points. Earlier this year, Abu Dhabi was been named the safest city in the world by Numbeo, a website that curates and collates data to develop the world’s largest user-contributed database about cities and countries worldwide. 

What do I do in the case of an emergency?

In case of an emergency, you can call the following numbers while anywhere in the UAE:

  • 999 for Police
  • 998 for Ambulance
  • 997 for Fire Department (Civil Defense)
  • 996 for Coastguard
  • 911 for electricity failure
  • 922 for water failure

If you are involved in a traffic accident, it’s important to contact the police immediately. For other enquiries, you can contact Abu Dhabi Police’s dedicated Tourism Police section on +971 2 699 9999.

Do I need a visa to visit Abu Dhabi?

Citizens of Australia, Andorra, Austria, Brunei, Belgium, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hong Kong, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Liechtenstein, Luxembourg, Malaysia, Monaco, The Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Portugal, San Marino, Singapore, South Korea, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, United Kingdom, United States of America and the Vatican State can get a free-of-charge entry visa upon arrival at Abu Dhabi International Airport. GCC citizens do not need a visa to enter the UAE. Citizens of all other countries will need to apply for a Tourist, Transit or Visit Visa prior to their trip. Visa rules are subject to change. You are recommended to check with the UAE embassies and consulates in your country. You may also visit The Abu Dhabi eGovernment Gateway for information on visa types or how to get your visa or call its contact centre on +971 2 666 4442 (800-555 from inside the UAE)

Where can I find my country’s embassy in Abu Dhabi? 

You can check a list of foreign embassies that are located in Abu Dhabi, including their contact information.

Do I need a medical insurance when I travel to Abu Dhabi?

Effective from the 1st August 2011, the UAE government passed a new visa regulation requiring UAE visitors to have mandatory a valid medical insurance at the time of application of a visit visa to the UAE.

Can I access hospitals and pharmacies easily in Abu Dhabi?

The Abu Dhabi eGovernment Gateway provides an updated list of 24-hours opened pharmacies and medical services, including hospitals, clinics, and medical centres in Abu Dhabi. You can also call the toll free number 800 555 (+971 2 666 4442) for more information.

For more information about the emirate of Abu Dhabi, visit the Abu Dhabi tourism website.