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19 October 2017

WorldSkills Abu Dhabi 2017 Closes

The world’s best skills competitors have been honoured with medals at the Closing Ceremony of WorldSkills Abu Dhabi 2017. They travelled from across the world to compete at the 44th edition of the world championship of vocational skills.

China led the medal table with 15 gold medals, 7 silvers and 8 bronzes. Korea came second on medal points with 8 golds, 8 silvers, and 8 bronzes. Switzerland was third on points, winning 11 golds, 6 silver, and 3 bronze. The hosts, the United Arab Emirates, won three Medallions for Excellence.

1,300 young people from 59 WorldSkills Member countries and regions showcased their talent across 51 skills competitions, between 15-18 October. This was the first time that the WorldSkills Competition has been held in the Middle East and North Africa region.

At the Closing Ceremony at the du Arena in Abu Dhabi – 10,000 international visitors, and a global audience online – watched Competitors discover who had won coveted gold, silver, and bronze WorldSkills medals.

“You came here as the best in the skills that you have made your own in your Countries”, said Simon Bartley, President of WorldSkills.  “Whether you are leaving here with a medal or not you all leave here as Champions; individuals who have reached higher than you could ever have imagined when you started your journey three years ago. I salute you, everybody in this arena salutes you, the World salutes you.”

The Albert Vidal Award for the best in competition was won by Biao Song from China who competed in the Industrial Mechanic Millwright skill. The Albert Vidal Award is named in memory of the founder of WorldSkills International.

In addition to the presentation of medals the Closing Ceremony provided an opportunity to reflect on the success of WorldSkills Abu Dhabi 2017, the largest WorldSkills Competition to date, which attracted more than 125,000 visitors.

Mr Bartley thanked the Government of the United Arab Emirates, expressing particular gratitude to His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces, under whose patronage WorldSkills Abu Dhabi 2017 was held, as well as to the organizers of the event Abu Dhabi Centre for Technical and Vocational Education and Training (ACTVET), and EmiratesSkills.

“This has been a proud week for me, and for the UAE”, said His Excellency Mubarak Saeed al Shamsi, the Director General of ACTVET. “The UAE has a rich and deep heritage and skills have been at the heart of the story of our nation – from our relationship with the desert and the sea, through to the development of our oil industry, and now, as we look to a high-tech future as we continue to diversify and develop our economy.”

Over the past week the WorldSkills Conference 2017, and the first International TVET Youth Forum, were held. These provided a unique opportunity for young professionals, Ministers, and other global policymakers to debate the major issues that the vocational education sector faces.

The Closing Ceremony of WorldSkills Abu Dhabi 2017 ended with the handover of the WorldSkills flag to the next hosts, WorldSkills Kazan 2019.  The 45th WorldSkills Competition will held in Russia from 29 August – 3 September 2019 in Kazan, Russia.