After the competition concluded, there were closing ceremonies. This is where medals were awarded and everyone had a chance to celebrate and say farewell (most traveled home the following day). It was also a chance for me to do a little more sight seeing (I visited a local souk and the Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque). I provide a few photos and some final thoughts below.
Here is what the closing ceremony looked like.
Closing ceremonies at WorldSkills Abu Dhabi are about to start. Note the size of the crowd. The empty seats were soon filled with the Korean team. #theta360 – Spherical Image – RICOH THETA
In the web design competition, there were 4 gold medals. I don’t know that this has ever happened before. Here are the gold medal winners (and the countries they represented).
Here are a few photos from the local souk (small shopping area). Yes, there were a lot of “tourist wares.” If you look closely near the upper center, you will see a Santa Claus ornament.
I also visited the Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque in Abu Dhabi. Here are a few Theta 360 views of the mosque.
This is the outside of the mosque (after you pass through the security screening).
Sheik Zayed Grand Mosque, Abu Dhabi, UAE. Outside view. #theta360 – Spherical Image – RICOH THETA
This is the courtyard. It is over 180,000 square feet. One of the largest mosaics in the world. Note the semi-precious stones included in the mosaic. The green is jade.
Sheik Zayed Grand Mosque, Abu Dhabi, UAE. Courtyard (over 180,000 square feet). Note the inlaid semi-precious stones in the mosaic. #theta360 – Spherical Image – RICOH THETA
This is what the mosque looks like inside.
Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque, Abu Dhabi, UAE. #theta360 – Spherical Image – RICOH THETA
This was the second time I participated as an invited expert in WorldSkills. This was the 44th WorldSkills competition [they happen every 2 years]. I find this to be a great honor to represent the U.S. and to help train our competitor. It is wonderful to be able to meet so many knowledgeable and passionate people from many countries. There were 35 countries represented in the web design and development competition. Roughly 100,000 people visited our competition during the days it was open to the public. There were roughly 10,000 people present at both the opening and closing ceremonies. 59 countries competed. There were roughly 1,300 competitors in over 51 different skill areas (Web design and development was only one of many).
This is the equivalent of the Olympics, but with a focus on career and technical education. In many countries, this is more important than the Olympics. That being said, did you notice even a paragraph in a U.S. newspaper about this event? We did have a reporter from the Wall Street Journal interview some individuals during a reception hosted by the U.S. Embassy in the UAE. However, I don’t recall seeing anything mentioned.
Politicians and many others tell everyone how important it is to have good jobs. Yet, there is no funding to support our efforts. I donated all training time to help our competitor. SkillsUSA spends a great deal of money to pay for travel, lodging and membership in WorldSkills. It seems that most other countries receive support from their respective governments. Only the U.S. government does not spend one penny to support our efforts. Personally, I think it is high time for politicians to stop paying lip service to the importance of good jobs and careers and to actually devote some money to help this worthy cause.
As always, I look forward to your comments.