17 October 2017
Visitors from home and abroad get a taste of the WorldSkills Abu Dhabi 2017 experience
The lure of the WorldSkills Competition has drawn people from across and beyond the United Arab Emirates for the 44th edition of the world championship of vocational skills.
More than 10,000 international visitors are joining over 100,000 attendees from the UAE at WorldSkills Abu Dhabi 2017, the largest and most prestigious vocational skills competition in the world, which is taking place at the Abu Dhabi National Exhibition Centre (ADNEC) from 15-18 October.
And they have been sharing their perceptions and experiences of the first WorldSkills Competition to be held in the Middle East and North Africa region, among them Weg Mueller, who travelled from Switzerland to the UAE capital with the sole purpose of adding another location to his list, having attended several international WorldSkills showcases in the past.
“The event is very good; it provides a real insight to different work places and environments,” he said. “It has been impressive so far and I enjoyed the Electronics Skill, as I am an electrician by trade.
Lise Hetty Olsen attended WorldSkills Abu Dhabi 2017 as an Observer with WorldSkills Norway, and emphasized how WorldSkills Abu Dhabi 2017 has combined scale – utilizing 105,000sqm of ADNEC - with compactness.
“It is very easy to navigate,” she noted. “I was expecting it to be big - I have been to five WorldSkills Competitions, - but this is very impressive. And the people are very friendly."
UAE national Aseela Al Saadi, a student at the Abu Dhabi Vocational Education and Training Institute (ADVETI), attended the skills showcase with her friends and said, “It is amazing – we are so proud that this is here in Abu Dhabi, that it’s the first time it has been held in the Middle East, and that there are so many Emiratis competing."
“There are Competitors from so many Gulf countries, such as Saudi Arabia, and people from all around the world. We just want to check out everything.”
Iman Al Amirah, a 27-year-old student at the College of Education at United Arab Emirates University, came to ADNEC with some of her classmates saying, “It is really enjoyable - we have seen the Cooking skill and the Baking skill, the smells from which were really good!
“It seems to be a really well-organised event from the minute you walk in.”
The 27-year-old and her friends were also at WorldSkills Abu Dhabi 2017 to cheer on their friend Maitha Omar Mohammed, a 20-year-old United Arab Emirates University student competing in the 3D Game Art Skill. “We are really proud of her and want to see her do well.”
Hamdan Ali, a 14-year-old student from Abu Dhabi, was taken aback by the scope of WorldSkills Abu Dhabi 2017 saying, “It’s a really big event – I just didn’t expect it to be this size!"
”I like science at school so I am interested in the science-related skills.”
Another Emirati youngster, Nasser Rashed Alyafy, 14, said, “It is a fantastic experience – I had some expectations of it, but I was still surprised by how big it is, and I’d like to use it as inspiration for my future career.”
Edouard Toutournji, of Lebanon, is a mathematics teacher at Applied Technology High School (ATHS) - Abu Dhabi Boys Campus - and he and his colleagues organised 20 school buses of pupils to attend the event.
“We have seen a lot of the Competition, so I wanted the kids to have a real insight about what this event is about and an oversight about what is possible in the world of work and how science is impacting on a lot of future jobs,” he said.