image0011Etihad Airways has been announced as the official airline sponsor of WorldSkills Abu Dhabi 2017 – the biggest vocational education and skills excellence event in the world. The event will bring more than 3,000 competitors and industry experts from up to 75 countries to the Abu Dhabi National Exhibition Centre (ADNEC) from 14 to 17 October 2017.

The 44th edition of the competition will represent the first time that the event has been held in the Middle East and will be the largest and most complex event to be hosted at the ADNEC in the lead up to Expo 2020 Dubai.

WorldSkills Abu Dhabi 2017, which will be hosted by the Abu Dhabi Center for Technical and Vocational Education and Training (ACTVET), aims to increase the prestige of vocational careers by challenging young people to become the best in the skill of their choice.  The competition is a major coup for Abu Dhabi as the emirate continues to transition into a diversified knowledge-based economy in line with the Abu Dhabi Economic Vision 2030.

left to right: His Excellency Mubarak Saeed Al Shamsi, Director General of ACTVET and official delegate of the UAE to WorldSkills, signs the agreement with Peter Baumgartner, Chief Executive Officer of Etihad Airways

His Excellency Mubarak Saeed Al Shamsi, Director General of ACTVET and official delegate of the UAE to WorldSkills, said: “We are extremely proud to welcome the world’s greatest skills excellence competition to the Middle East for the first time. WorldSkills Abu Dhabi 2017 represents our strong commitment to vocational and technological education and training for the young people of the UAE today, helping them build a thriving and diverse economy for the generations of tomorrow. We look forward to working with Etihad Airways to ensure the competition is a resounding success.”

The WorldSkills participants represent the best of their peers and are selected from skill competitions in member countries and regions across the globe. Almost 2,300 participants and experts took part in the 2015 edition of the competition which was held in Sao Paolo, Brazil, whilst thousands more visited the six-day event. Other host cities in recent years have included Leipzig, London and Calgary.

Peter Baumgartner, Etihad Airways’ Chief Executive Officer, said: “It is a great honour to be named as an official partner of such a prestigious competition.  Abu Dhabi is a thoroughly modern city which is fast becoming one of the world’s most exciting commercial and tourism hubs.  The event will provide the perfect opportunity for those attending to experience the very best of Arabian hospitality whilst enjoying state of the art facilities and modern infrastructure in a thriving and cosmopolitan city.”

Hala Abu Dhabi, the destination management division of Etihad Airways, has been named as the competition’s Customer Service Management.  Hala will develop and deliver packages for all those attending the event as well as offer on-ground customer services including staffing, transport and excursions.

Mohammed Al Bulooki, Etihad Airways’ Vice President – UAE Commercial, said: “The competition will provide a fantastic opportunity for us to showcase everything that Abu Dhabi has to offer to leisure and business travellers alike. Abu Dhabi, as a city dedicated to continued investment in the workforce of tomorrow, is the perfect location for the renowned competition: Hala Abu Dhabi looks forward to welcoming participants from across the world to our home city and working with ACTVET and WorldSkills to ensure that the event is a resounding success.”

WorldSkills covers a wide range of industries including construction, creative arts and fashion, information and communication technology, manufacturing and engineering, social and personal services and transport.

image0032About Etihad Aviation Group

Etihad Aviation Group (EAG) is a diversified global aviation and travel group comprising four business divisions – Etihad Airways, the national airline of the United Arab Emirates, Etihad Engineering, Hala Group and Airline Equity Partners. The group has minority investments in seven airlines: airberlin, Air Serbia, Air Seychelles, Alitalia, Jet Airways, Virgin Australia, and Swiss-based Darwin Airline, trading as Etihad Regional.

From its Abu Dhabi base, Etihad Airways flies to, or has announced plans to serve, 117 passenger and cargo destinations in the Middle East, Africa, Europe, Asia, Australia and the Americas. The airline has a fleet of 122 Airbus and Boeing aircraft, with 204 aircraft on firm order, including 71 Boeing 787s, 25 Boeing 777Xs, 62 Airbus A350s and 10 Airbus A380s. For more information, please visit: