ABU DHABI // A bright future awaits the winners of the Emirates Skills National Competition who were presented with their awards at the Abu Dhabi National Exhibition centre yesterday.
After two days of competition, the 425 Emirati hopefuls were whittled down to just 27 first-placed winners across 19 technical and academic disciplines.
The victors will now be eligible to apply for the 2015 WorldSkills competition in Brazil, where they can test their abilities against the best of the best internationally.
Simon Bartley, president of WorldSkills, presented the awards and told the students that all of them was a winner in their own right.
“Today is not the end of the experience, today is only the beginning,” he said. “All of you will go on and be proud of having participated in this competition.”
Mr Bartley was impressed by the talent and said that “these young people are the future, they are going to be the people who are generating the wealth in the world when we are all retiring”.
Omar Muhairi from the American University of Sharjah, took first place in the computer-programming category, after solving a series of complex technical problems in the shortest time possible. “We are used to this type of challenge, we do competitions all the time, but it feels great to win,” he said.
“We plan on practising hard and doing well in the Brazil competition.”
He, along with his teammate, Abdalla Marzouqi, have aspirations of getting their PhDs and becoming professors once they have completed their undergraduate studies.
Another bright spark who took home gold was Saif Al Nuaimi, from Abu Dhabi’s Secondary Technical School, who showed the judges his skills in robotics.
“I want to go on to university and then hopefully compete at WorldSkills,” he said.
The competitive spirit has certainly taken hold, as Abu Dhabi is now bidding to host WorldSkills 2017.
A panel will make the decision in nine weeks’ time at WorldSkills 2013 in Germany.