The traditional parade of teams, encouraging words from dignitaries and entertainment by local youth performers helped usher in the 2014 World Bowling Men's Championships at Abu Dhabi's Zayed Sports City on Thursday afternoon.
The nine-day tournament will run from Dec. 6-14 and feature a total of 274 bowlers from 49 countries. They will compete for medals in six events - singles, doubles, trios, team, all-events and Masters match play.
The 2014 World Men's Championships marks the event's first visit to Abu Dhabi since 1999.
Finland is the defending champion in the team event, having downed the United States in an exciting championship match at the 2013 World Championships in Henderson, Nevada, a suburb of Las Vegas. The Finnish victory denied Team USA a fourth consecutive team gold medal.