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Boasting an inside space of 105 000 square metres, it’s big enough to accommodate 4 500 double decker buses. The Abu Dhabi National Exhibition Centre, or Adnec, is the largest exhibition venue in the Middle East, and is no stranger to skills competitions, having held both the Emirates and the Gulf Co-operation Council regional skills competitions there.

More than 100 events are staged there every year and there are around 1.8 million annual visitors, but it has never had this volume of spectators pass through its turnstiles for a single event as it did with WorldSkills this year.

In all, more than 100 000 people visited the venue during the competition. These included 80 000 UAE schoolchildren, 10 000 international guests, the 1 300 competitors from 59 competing countries, and 500 high-profile guests including ministers, representatives and policymakers. It also had around 1 000 members of the worldwide media, and 1 000 volunteers.

To cater for the sheer volumes of competitors, an enormous amount of equipment was required. In the body repair segment there were 24 candidates working on Car-O-Liner benches and fixing Mercedes Class A models. As a sponsor they sent 24 alignment bench systems plus welding equipment to Abu Dhabi.

A lot of hard work lay ahead for the team from Car-O-Liner in Sweden and the UAE as they set up the 24 autobody repair booths at WorldSkills 2017. Leading the project was Bengt-Olof Olofsson, engineer from Sweden and Adib Ketuly, managing director Car-O-Liner Middle East and Africa.

Workshop Equipment systems were also there. They presented their paint simulator – VirtualPaint on the stand of Glasurit BASF who were the main sponsors for this event in the painting section.

In the car painting section the Gold medal went to China, the Silver medal to the UK and the Bronze medals went to Switzerland, Germany and France.

The results overall were: China: Gold medal, Switzerland: Silver medal and the UK: Bronze medal.