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Published on : Saturday, February 6, 2016
Dubai is striving hard to become the world’s friendliest place for the disabled by increasing their services aimed at catering to the needs of their customers with disabilities. This will result in accessible tourism boom in Dubai.
The new initiatives include Smart Gate Special Counters at the airports, guidelines in Braille, government staff trained in sign language to support those with hearing and speech impairment, ease of wheelchair access in buildings, parks, transport facilities, government offices and other places and parking facilities close to the centres.
Sami Al Qamzi, Director General, Department of Economic Development (DED) in Dubai, said, “We have formed a special team to make DED and its institutions disabled-friendly entities, in order to ensure that the design and facilities inside the buildings allow people having disabilities to use the services and move around with ease.”
DHA and Dubai Municipality are amongst a number of Dubai Government Departments which will showcase their initiatives and services for the disabled during Access Abilities Expo 2016, the Middle East’s largest expo for individuals with disabilities, taking place from Feb 9 to 11, 2016, at the Dubai International Convention and Exhibition Centre.
Other Departments showcasing the latest services and technologies include Dubai Electricity and Water Authority, Community Development Authority, Department of Economic Development, Dubai Customs, GDRFA and Roads and Transport Authority.
The UAE and Dubai have been taking numerous initiatives toward enhancing the lives of people with disabilities and integrating them into the society.
The ‘My community… a city for everyone’ initiative aims at empowering the disabled within an overarching framework that contributes to enhancing the effectiveness of existing projects and initiatives, and developing more initiatives of this sort in accordance with a vision that aims to maximise the participation and integration of individuals with disabilities in the community, and to create new opportunities for them.
According to a report published by Emirates 24/7, committed to bringing the Vision 2020 to reality, the departments are actively using smart technologies to make transactional procedures easily accessible for the disabled, providing job opportunities and also introducing facilities aimed at integrating those with disabilities into the society.
Hamid Mohamed Al Qatami, Chairman and Director General of the Dubai Health Authority (DHA), said, Dubai has proven itself to be a successful universal model in dealing with people with disabilities. It also completed a set of regulations that ensure full support for people with disabilities, integrating them in the society and areas where they can be gainfully employed and contribute effectively in the development and prosperity of Dubai.