Abu Dhabi: The Department of Community Development – Abu Dhabi, the government entity regulating the social sector in the emirate, has reaffirmed its unwavering commitment to enhancing the inclusion of People of Determination and the elderly in the community, and to providing the highest levels of living welfare for them. This commitment stems from the department’s belief in the significant role that all segments of society play in promoting comprehensive and sustainable development in the emirate.

Since signing the agreement regarding the People of Determination and Elderly Inclusive City Project with Aldar Properties last January, the Department of Community Development has been keen to involve all partners from the public, private, and third sectors, as well as the relevant stakeholders from the targeted groups, with the aim of achieving the desired results as the pilot phase of the project begins on Yas Island in 2025.

This vital and unique project aims to strengthen Abu Dhabi's international position as an inclusive and accessible destination for all segments of society by introducing more than 30 inclusive services and products, organizing more than 50 community and inclusive sports events annually, and collaborating and partnering with more than 25 inclusive service providers in the emirate. This contributes to the goal of having active individuals in the community.

His Excellency Engineer Hamad Ali Al Dhaheri, Undersecretary of the Department of Community Development, said: “The Department is committed to the empowerment and inclusion of people of determination and the elderly. We are keen to implement initiatives and programs that seek to improve access and provide equal opportunities for all segments of society.”

His Excellency expanded that the workshop, implemented in cooperation with relevant authorities, is in line with important strategies and policies launched by the DCD in recent times, including the Abu Dhabi Strategy for People of Determination, the Family Well-Being Strategy, and the Livability Strategy, Tourism Strategy in addition to the Sports for All Policy.

The workshop provided an engaging and interactive platform for experts and specialists in the field to connect, including government agency leaders in Abu Dhabi and representatives of the private and third sectors.

The workshop aimed to pave – and unify – the pathways toward Yas Island’s transformation into a leading model of inclusivity for people of determination and the elderly, setting an example that can be replicated throughout the emirate.

Al Dhaheri added: “With this partnership, we seek to promote an inclusive city that provides integrated and innovative services that meet the needs of both people of determination and the elderly by providing accessible transportation, public facilities, and digital services. We look forward to expanding this pilot project to include other areas in Abu Dhabi, contributing to strengthening the emirate’s position as an inclusive and friendly city for people of determination, the elderly, and all other segments of society.”

Talal Al Dhiyebi, Group Chief Executive Officer of Aldar Properties, said: “Accessibility is a crucial component of a well-rounded society and is central to our thinking when planning our communities and lifestyle destinations across Abu Dhabi. Partnering with the Department of Community Development on the inclusive city project is hugely beneficial as it is creating dialogue and enabling planning activities to ensure that Abu Dhabi is one of the world’s most accessible and inclusive cities.”

Miral, the leading creator of immersive destinations and experiences in Abu Dhabi, also partnered with Purple Tuesday to support this initiative, committing to developing an inclusion strategy for the people of determination and the elderly, enhancing Yas Island’s positioning as an inclusive destination for community members and visitors.

Commenting on the initiative, Mohamed Abdalla Al Zaabi, Group CEO of Miral, said, “We are dedicated to making a positive impact within our community, ensuring accessibility for all our visitors. This initiative  is a testament  to our commitment in positioning Yas Island as global destinationthat ensures enjoyable experiences for everyone, and is aligned with our group CSR strategy. We are proud to be part of this pilot project that contributes to Abu Dhabi’s image as an inclusive and friendly city.”

For his part, Dr. Mike Adams, Founder and CEO of Purple Tuesday, said: “Purple Tuesday is an initiative dedicated to enhancing the experiences of people of determination by supporting organizations in their disability inclusion initiatives. Our goal is to enhance accessibility through best practices.

“We are pleased to work in partnership with the Department of Community Development to support the implementation of the Abu Dhabi for People of Determination strategy. In addition, we are excited to participate in the inclusive city project for people of determination and the elderly and its initial pilot implementation on Yas Island. Together, we can highlight the UAE’s international standing in the field of disability inclusion – where everyone’s experience matters, and everyone is included.”

A set of keynote speeches took place at the workshop, in addition to presentations on the inclusive city project and similar global initiatives that explore the social and professional benefits of enhancing accessibility and inclusion for people of determination. The event also provided an opportunity for relevant partners and stakeholders to connect.

The inclusive city project is an integral part of the MoU signed between the DCD and Aldar Properties, with the aim of redesigning and transforming Yas Island into an inclusive location for people of determination and the elderly, helping facilitate more equal access to public places, facilities and means of transportation. Digitally, the initiative also spans accessible electronic and smart channels and services, as well as comprehensive access to integrated services and products across social, health, education, employment, entertainment, sports, tourism, and other sectors.

About the Department of Community Development

The Department of Community Development in Abu Dhabi (DCD) was established in 2018 to govern the social and community-development sector through a set of policies, strategies, systems, and standards. The Department aims to improve the quality of life in the emirate and provide a dignified life for all, through high-quality, impactful, and efficient services. One of DCD’s priorities is to raise awareness about social issues pertinent to Abu Dhabi and its people and find innovative solutions.

Connect with DCD on social media:  
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About Miral

Miral Group is the leading creator of immersive destinations and experiences in Abu Dhabi, that contributes to the growth of the leisure and entertainment industry and Abu Dhabi's economic diversification. It conceives, creates, operates, and manages immersive destinations and experiences that attract visitors from across the world to create unforgettable memories, accelerating the realisation of the Emirate's tourism vision and growth.

Responsible for the development of Yas Island and overseeing Saadiyat Island's Destination Management Strategy, Miral's portfolio of world-class assets incorporates entertainment, leisure, culture, sport, dining, retail, and hospitality experiences, aiming to deliver millions of memorable moments for residents and international guests alike. These include SeaWorld® Yas Island, Abu Dhabi; Ferrari World Yas Island, Abu Dhabi; Warner Bros. World™ Abu Dhabi; CLYMB™ Abu Dhabi; Yas Waterworld Abu Dhabi; Yas Marina; and Yas Bay Waterfront, home to the UAE's largest indoor multi-purpose venue Etihad Arena, amongst others. Miral also has several projects being developed on Yas Island and across the emirate, including teamLab Phenomena Abu Dhabi, Natural History Museum Abu Dhabi, and a Harry Potter themed land within Warner Bros. World™ Abu Dhabi.

Miral Group encompasses three subsidiaries: Miral Destinations, which promotes unique destinations; Miral Experiences, which operates a diverse portfolio of world-class, award-winning immersive experiences; and Yas Asset Management, which operates and manages a portfolio of vibrant destinations including F&B, retail, marinas, and hospitality properties across Yas Island.

For more information, visit www.miral.ae