Dubai Airports to be more autism-friendly, accessible for People of Determination

Operator signs MoU to support UAE Vision 2021 and Dubai Plan 2021 for the emirate to be the world’s leading disability-friendly city

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Photos: Supplied
Photos: Supplied

Published: Wed 4 Oct 2023, 3:17 PM

Dubai Airports, operator of the world’s busiest international hub, has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Dubai Autism Centre (DAC) to further elevate the travel experience at DXB by making it more accessible and inclusive for People of Determination (POD) with hidden disabilities.

The MoU aligns with Dubai Airports’ commitment to support UAE Vision 2021 and Dubai Plan 2021 for the emirate to be the world’s leading disability-friendly city. Building on the success of the ‘We all meet the world differently' programme launched last year, Dubai Airports continues its efforts to make travelling easier for passengers with hidden disabilities at both Dubai International (DXB) and Dubai World Central (DWC).


Essa Al Shamsi, SVP of Terminal Operations at Dubai Airports, said: “We understand the importance of bridging gaps in service levels and enhancing facilities that guests with disabilities require to enjoy their journey to their fullest, and we're committed to continuously improving to meet and exceed guest expectations. Our partnership with the Dubai Autism Centre not only demonstrates our efforts to provide an exceptional travel experience for all guests but also underscores our dedication to creating an airport environment where everyone can feel comfortable and supported.”

Mohammed Al Emadi, Director General of the Dubai Autism Centre said: “We are proud that the cooperation between the Centre and Dubai Airports over more than a year has yielded fruit by creating an autism-friendly travel experience at one of the world’s most prominent airport hubs.”


Al Emadi expressed his appreciation towards Dubai Airports and their tireless efforts to enhance the travel experience for people of determination, from the services they seek at the airport to implementing an environment that meets their needs as fully as others, in line with the vision of the UAE’s wise government to transform the emirate of Dubai into a friendly city for people of determination.

The MoU was signed by Essa Al Shamsi and Mohammed Al Emadi at DXB’s Al Majlis VIP facility in the presence of senior representatives from both organisations. Following the signing ceremony, the representatives came together at Terminal 3 departure forecourt to plant sunflowers – a globally recognised symbol for hidden disabilities – in a move symbolising positivity, hope, and a brighter future.

DXB received the Autism-friendly certificate in November 2022 after successfully meeting the requirements of DAC’s Autism-Friendly Programme for providing services and facilities to support accessibility for people with autism. DXB introduced a range of options for POD travellers, including a travel planner for pre-travel preparation and an Autism Friendly Route, offering a prioritised route for check-in, passport control, security checkpoints, and boarding, which can be availed when wearing the sunflower lanyard. Specially trained Guest Experience Ambassadors and employees wearing a sunflower pin are readily available to assist and support travellers throughout their airport journey.

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