Thu 12-10-2017 19:36 PM

Department of Culture and Tourism partners with WorldSkills Abu Dhabi 2017

ABU DHABI, 12th October, 2017 (WAM) -- Tens of thousands of hotel guests are set to descend on Abu Dhabi next week as the emirate hosts the prestigious WorldSkills Abu Dhabi 2017, with the Abu Dhabi Department of Culture and Tourism providing support to the event.

The competition will be held from 15th to 18th October at the Abu Dhabi National Exhibition Centre, ADNEC, under the patronage of His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces.

Abu Dhabi received the honour of hosting the WorldSkills Competition for the first time in the Middle East following the presentation of an integrated proposal prepared by the Abu Dhabi Centre for Technical and Vocational Education and Training, ACTVET, the Abu Dhabi Convention Bureau, ADNEC, and the Abu Dhabi Department of Culture and Tourism,ADDCT.

Mohamed Khalifa Al Mubarak, Chairman, ADDCT, is also acting as the Chairman of the WorldSkills Abu Dhabi 2017 Organising Committee.

During the event, a number of tourism and heritage programmes, activities and events are being organised by ADDCT as part of its support to the event, and to highlight the emirate as a first-class tourist destination partner.

The Abu Dhabi Convention Bureau – a division of the Abu Dhabi Department of Culture and Tourism, contributed to hosting the guided tour for the WorldSkills organisation members, preparing the hosting file and presenting it to the selection committee in 2013 in Leipzig, Austria. The Bureau also helped promote Abu Dhabi's hosting of the event by organising cultural and heritage events at the WorldSkills S?o Paulo 2015 in Brazil, in addition to providing support through the ‘Advantage Abu Dhabi’ incentive scheme, and participation in marketing and promotional programmes.

The 44th competition, organised by ACTVET and Emirates Skills, will host 1,259 contestants from 58 countries, with about 100,000 visitors anticipated, thousands of whom will be overseas visitors.

Saif Saeed Ghobash, Director-General, Abu Dhabi, Department of Culture and Tourism, stressed the magnitude of hosting this event in Abu Dhabi, pointing to its strategic role in many social, economic, tourism and educational fields stating: "The WorldSkills competition reflects Abu Dhabi's elevated international status and its commitment to building a diversified economic system by developing the skills of young people, preparing them to meet the challenges of the future and raising awareness of the technical and artistic professions.

"It also underscores Abu Dhabi’s ability to embrace the world's largest international events due to its modern infrastructure, exceptional expertise, and organisational resources," he stated.

The competition is considered the world's leading initiative in the field of upgrading technical and vocational skills through attracting the best young contestants to exchange their expertise and test their abilities in 51 skills according to very specific standards to an audience of experts, teachers and specialists. The competition has already been held in Sao Paulo, Leipzig, London, UK and Calgary in Canada, and is covered extensively by media.

Sultan Al Dhaheri, Acting Executive Director for the Tourism Sector at Department of Culture and Tourism – Abu Dhabi, said: "Hosting this prestigious competition in the UAE capital provides us with an opportunity to highlight our tourist destination, its landmarks, recreational facilities and cultural and heritage experiences. We expect the competition to increase tourism and hospitality revenues through the direct and indirect spending of participants and visitors in shopping centres, commercial and service facilities, and via hotel occupancy levels with around 47,000 room nights in 30 hotels booked."

He added: "Visitors to this competition will serve as ambassadors of our destination by conveying its message and unique stories to their families and friends. We seek to encourage them to return to Abu Dhabi and enjoy the authentic tourist and cultural experiences it has to offer."

The delegations and teams competing will be provided with a range of cultural programmes including heritage and recreational activities. These events will be held in a desert camp in Al Khatim area in co-operation with Hala Abu Dhabi, the Destination Management Company of Etihad Airways. The camp will host 1,800 WorldSkills experts, spectators and VIPs on 10 October and 1,600 participants on 12 October.

A large pavilion at the Abu Dhabi National Exhibition Centre detailing the Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque Center, Louvre Abu Dhabi, Al Ain Zoo and Yas Island’s leisure and tourism attractions has also been prepared for visitors. The pavilion offers a range of heritage activities, tourist and cultural publications, in addition to providing visitors with information on tourist programmes and guided tours of the emirate The Department of Culture and Tourism – Abu Dhabi is focusing its efforts on capitalising on the extensive media coverage of the competition to promote awareness of the continued development of the tourist destination and the steady growth of its recreational and cultural attractions, including the upcoming opening of Louvre Abu Dhabi in November.

In 1997, the UAE became the first Arab country to become a member of the WorldSkills Organisation, a body which incorporates 77 countries and regions.

WAM/Tariq alfaham