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WorldSkills Abu Dhabi 2017

AES team installing the seats


(Video Credit - WorldSkills)

All Events Services were delighted to have worked in collaboration with Harlequin Arena on the WorldSkills Abu Dhabi 2017 opening and closing ceremonies at the du Arena, Yas Island.

The prestigious event is the world's largest vocational skills competition, held last week at the Abu Dhabi Exhibition Centre, the competition saw 60 countries from around the world competing. It was the first time the WorldSkills contest was held in the MENA region and Abu Dhabi, as always, impressed the world with a spectacular international event.

Harlequin Arena, were assigned by People to deliver a 3,500sq.m elevated stage platform along with a grandstand designed to wrap around stage area capable of hosting 8,000 spectators inside the du Arena. People, the experience agency behind the creative concept of the WorldSkills Abu Dhabi 2017 competition, designed, managed and produced the spectacular opening and closing ceremonies.

AES, working in collaboration with Harlequin Arena, were appointed as the installation team for the 8,000 capacity grandstand and delivered in record breaking time.

Kris Piper, AES project manager, discusses how he and his team put their own vocational skills to the test,

"We at AES are really pleased with the WorldSkills Abu Dhabi 2017 build. It was a successful project and, although challenging, was enjoyable to be involved with.
The complexity of the build was due to the total number of seats to be installed in the tight horseshoe configuration around the stage. The working area was also extremely tight to build in due to the sheer number of components going in at the same time.

My role as the Project Manager is to effectively control all of these components, allowing the build to progress. We often work alongside other contractors on site and so it is important to manage all the different teams so that everyone gets their job finished safely and on time. Resulting in the final product, which we were very proud with.

On the small footprint we were able to instate 7,608 seats for the general public, 390 seats for VIP and 55 seats for VVIP. We were also able to facilitate a last minute request for air conditioned seats for the VVIP area, which were delivered and installed within 24 hours. The whole build took 14 days to complete with a team of 40 men during the days and a team of 21 men during the nights.

The new Clearview seating system from Harlequin Arena is a safe and efficient product to build with. The system allowed us to activate in areas that would normally be dead space. Wrapping the seats around the stage in this way maximized the seating capacity whilst offering clear vantage points from each seat.The combination of high quality scaffolding and expertise means it is not just the seats and structures that look the part but, as any person familiar with grandstands will know, the backbone and technical aspect of the project is everything that goes on underneath your seat. The Arena Seating team work closely with AES on the design and we were really pleased with the end result."

Jonathan Hills, Managing Director of Harlequin Arena, gives more detail on the new seating system,

"Clearview is Arena Group's patented, reconfigurable and demountable seating grandstand which is proven to provide the best possible sightline from every seat.

For every project we are involved in the spectator experience, safety and comfort is what matters to us. The system provides a superior spectator experience from the ergonomic seat design, wider access and egress than standard seating systems we see in the market. This enables us to provide higher levels of safety, comfort and has the look and feel of a permanent venue.

Supporting People, for WorldSkills Abu Dhabi 2017 opening and closing ceremonies, was a perfect layout for the system which combined curved corner sections to wrap around the venue and stage, with wings down the left and right of a very large 3,500 sq.m stage area utilising the Arena Super Deck System.
The ability to wrap around the stage through the corner sections means we maximise the seating capacity in the venue at du Arena whilst optimising C-values (international measurement for sight lines) meaning no matter where your seat is your view is never compromised."

Jonathan highlights the synergy Harlequin Arena has with AES,

"All Events Services plays a vital role for Harlequin Arena as their expertise in scaffolding and installation means everything underneath our grandstands and structures are built safely, efficiently and on time that is essential for all of our projects. The combination of high quality scaffolding and expertise means it is not just the seats and structures that look the part but, as any person familiar with grandstands will know, the backbone and technical aspect of the project is everything that goes on underneath your seat. The Arena Seating team work closely with AES on the designs and we were really pleased with the finish result.

This, along with the team to deliver and install, is where the two businesses complement each other. All Events Services and Harlequin Arena have a long standing history in the Middle East Events Industry and understanding each other’s products are key factors to the success as is a mutual mind set for delivering quality for our clients."

Kris Piper was on site during the opening and closing ceremonies and describes how the events went,

"On the opening night my team and I were on site, as standard practice, and I thought the show was fantastic, it was very lively and a great spectacle. This was my first experience of the WorldSkills event and Abu Dhabi got it right. There was a real party atmosphere and we even saw Mexican waves going around all of our seating!

Of the 8,000 seats installed, there must have been nearly 90% capacity, which was excellent to see. It was obviously a melting pot of different nationalities and cultures in the du Arena that contributed to the buzz. There was a strong representation from the UAE in the event which is always good to see.

The closing ceremony was on Thursday night; our teams were there again to ensure our services were available if required. This time the arena was completely filled, with over 10,000 people, and the show was as spectacular as the opening night. It was an experience just to see all the participants picking up their awards, the passion of the contestants was clear and great to witness.


(Video Credit - WorldSkills)

Immediately after the show we began the dismantle. As it was a large job, our night crew began to work as soon as the last guest left. We predict to be finished within a 5 days and then we are off to the next job."

All Events Services provide a host of event solutions for the event industry. Offering a variety of products from large events requiring stadium grandstand seating to the smaller more intimate events.

WorldSkills Abu Dhabi 2017

WorldSkills Abu Dhabi 2017

All Events Services provide bespoke solutions to all event structure requirements that event agencies or organisers have. If you are looking for a creative solution for an event you are running or manage a venue that could benefit from our services please contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or call 04 321 5599.