14 October 2017
WorldSkills Abu Dhabi 2017, the world championships of vocational skills, has officially opened in the capital of the UAE. The event began with a spectacular opening ceremony at the du Arena on Yas Island, Abu Dhabi, which was attended by 10,000 people. It was an exciting and colourful celebration of vocational skills and their place in the history of the UAE.
During WorldSkills Abu Dhabi 2017 1,300 competitors from across the globe will compete to be the very best in their chosen Skills. There will be competitions in 51 different Skills ranging from floristry to bricklaying; aircraft maintenance to mobile robotics.
Almost 60 WorldSkills Member Countries and Regions have entered teams to compete. WorldSkills promotes vocational skills through its membership, which represents two thirds of the world’s population. The event is being held under the patronage of His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed, the Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and the Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces.
The President of WorldSkills, Simon Bartley, thanked the Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and the other leaders of the UAE for hosting WorldSkills in the Middle East for the first time. “Their vision acknowledges that to transform and develop an economy you have to put skills at the very heart of your efforts,” Simon Bartley said.
WorldSkills Abu Dhabi 2017 is being hosted by the Abu Dhabi Centre for Technical and Vocational Education (ACTVET), the ultimate goal of which is to increase the number of skilled Emirati youth in rewarding career paths.
“Hosting WorldSkills Abu Dhabi 2017 is an honour and an important moment for the UAE”, said His Excellency Mubarak al-Shamsi, the Director General of ACTVET. “Vocational skills present huge opportunities for young people in this country, and WorldSkills Abu Dhabi 2017 is the perfect way for us to introduce these prospects to tens of thousands of young UAE nationals.”
The opening ceremony included a parade of nations, during which all the teams walked through the arena. There were also music and dance performances featuring a 60-piece orchestra and 100-member choir, made up of local and international residents of the UAE. The centre piece was a performance ‘Progress through Skills’, which featured live dancers who portrayed the role skills have had in the development of the UAE.
The ceremony finale was a breathtaking display by the gymnastic troupe Spelbound, who rose to fame in the TV Show Britain’s Got Talent. It was an exciting day for the young Competitors from around the world.
“WorldSkills is the one of the biggest platforms for skills, which provides you an opportunity to benchmark your skill against the best in the world”, said Simoul Alva, a Graphic Designer for Team India. “The event will help me showcase my passion for graphic design and represent the talent that India has in this field. I wish my fellow competitors the very best and look forward to an amazing experience here.”
“What I look forward to most is being able to represent New Zealand”, said Nicole Keeber who is competing for the Tool Blacks in the Floristry competition. “I think it’s something truly special, the chance to take my knowledge to the limits and see what I can create!"
The competitions at World Skills Abu Dhabi 2017 will open to the public in the Abu Dhabi National Exhibition Centre at 10AM on Sunday 15th October. 100,000 people are expected to attend including 80,000 school children, and 10,000 international visitors.