DUBAI- Dubai’s successful development model, which has seen it become one of the world’s most prominent cities in the last few decades, has always had inclusive growth and social well-being at its centre. No where is its focus on human welfare more evident than its investment in improving the lives of people with special needs.
At the launch of the National Strategy for Empowering People with Disabilities in 2017, His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President, Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai, introduced a new description for people with special needs, calling them, 'People of Determination'.
"Disability is, in fact, the inability to make progress and achievements. The achievements that people of determination have made in various spheres over the past years are proof that determination and strong will can do the impossible and encourage people to counter challenges and difficult circumstances, while firmly achieving their goals," said His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid. In keeping with its policies for people of determination, the emirate has announced that it will be hosting the world’s first Accessible Tourism International Summit from 5th to 6th November, 2019. To be held under the patronage of H.H. Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al Maktoum, Chairman of Dubai Civil Aviation Authority and Chairman and Chief Executive of Emirates Airline and Group, the summit will be held under the theme, "Making all cities friendly for tourists with disabilities".
One of the pivotal initiatives in Dubai’s comprehensive plan for enhancing the lives of people of determination is, "My Community ... A City for Everyone", a programme launched by H.H. Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Crown Prince of Dubai and Chairman of Dubai Executive Council. Under this initiative, comprehensive empowerment policies were adopted to integrate people of determination in all aspects of life in Dubai.
Dubai Municipality is a key player in the drive to improve the quality of life of people of determination. The municipality has closely studied their requirements, while upgrading or developing projects and facilities. Dubai has also introduced new training programmes focused on ensuring the city is universally welcoming across all points. The Dubai College of Tourism established by the Department of Tourism and Commerce Marketing, and recently launched an inclusive service-training programme designed to help employees provide people of determination with superior customer service.
The Dubai Health Authority has also achieved notable progress in providing people of determination with quality healthcare that matches the services offered in countries such as the United States, the United Kingdom, Canada, Japan, and Australia. Dubai’s Roads and Transport Authority is another organisation that has implemented a range of projects to improve accessibility for people of determination. In line with the "My Community" initiative, the Community Development Authority in Dubai introduced the Sanad Card, available free of charge to both Emiratis and expatriates. The card offers exclusive privileges and services ,with up to 50 percent discounts on select services and products that people of determination need. Over the coming years, Dubai will continue introducing new projects promoting an inclusive, restriction-free society for people of determination.
© Copyright Emirates News Agency (WAM) 2019.