Dubai firm launches specialised tour packages for deaf visitors

The service, first of its kind in the region, focuses on how to make UAE more accessible for tourists


Nasreen Abdulla

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Published: Tue 10 Oct 2023, 11:40 AM

Last updated: Tue 10 Oct 2023, 10:19 PM

A Dubai-based company, Amsaan Accessible Tours, is revolutionising the travel experience for deaf visitors by offering exclusively designed tour packages. This service, the first of its kind in the region, aims to provide a seamless and enjoyable experience for hard-of-hearing tourists, making it easy for them to explore Dubai.

“The company focuses on how to make the UAE more accessible for the hearing-impaired,” said Vitalii Mykhalchuk, Director of IT Solutions at Amsaan Accessible Tours. “Travel can be quite challenging for people of determination. For example, something as simple as hotel check-ins can require a lot of assistance. However, they might not be able to find the kind of assistance they require if they don’t have a translator or interpreter with them. We want to make such situations easy for them.”

Amsaan Accessible Tours
Amsaan Accessible Tours

An IT company, Amsaan’s brush with people of determination began when the company designed an app for deaf people. “The app helps deaf people to navigate the various challenges they face on an everyday basis easily,” he said. “The tourism company came as a natural progression of that. One of our founders is hearing-impaired, so it is something that is very close to his heart.”

This app will be integrated into the tour packages, making it easier for those with hearing difficulties to travel more freely. It will provide information about everything from schedules to tours in sign language and assist with the check-in process.

Vitalii Mykhalchuk
Vitalii Mykhalchuk

Making travel accessible

The tour package, which was launched eight months ago, has begun bringing in deaf bloggers and influencers to test out their tours.

“We wanted them to try our solutions and give us feedback,” said Vitalii. “So far, the response we have got is immense. Even though there are accessible tours all over the world, there are not many that integrate IT solutions into the tour as well as we do.”

Angelina Boiko, Sign language interpreter, Amsaan Accessible Tours
Angelina Boiko, Sign language interpreter, Amsaan Accessible Tours

With the positive response and feedback, the company is hoping to bring in larger tour groups by November. “In the second phase of our project, we will be branching out to include more people of determination, including the blind, those using wheelchairs and people with autism.”

Building bridges

In addition to integrating technology into their tours, Amsaan also brought on board deaf tour guides. British expat Sarah Shameem is one of the first guides working with the company on their pilot project.

Sarah Shameem
Sarah Shameem

“This is the first time that I have taken on such a job,” she said, speaking to Khaleej Times through an interpreter. “I am excited to be doing something that is helping other deaf people like me. I moved to Dubai just a few months ago, and I love the city. It is so vibrant and so accessible.”

According to Vitalii, their biggest challenge is breaking the barriers between people of determination and the world around them. “Deaf people have a difficult time trusting others because they are often let down,” he said. “That is why we have pushed to hire people of determination so that we can build bridges and get them to trust us. Over 80% of our company is staffed by people of determination.”

Amsaan Accessible Tours
Amsaan Accessible Tours


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