Look: Dubai landmarks, over 5,300 screens go blue with special message

Starr report/Dubai
Filed on April 18, 2021

Supplied photos

Dubai Water Canal waterfall, Tolerance Bridge turn blue to support autism awareness campaign

Over 5,300 advertising screens across Dubai have lit up with a special message.

The screens at the Dubai Metro, tram and bus stations; as well as Enoc gas stations and shopping centres display awareness messages to educate society about the importance of accepting and empowering individuals with autism and integrating them into society.

This is part of the 15th annual autism awareness campaign launched by the Dubai Autism Centre.

Rowdah Al Mehrizi, Director of Marketing and Corporate Communications at RTA, said several landmarks and facilities have lit up in blue. These include the Tolerance Bridge, Dubai Water Canal Waterfall, and pedestrian bridges on Al Wasl Street and Al Safa Park.

Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) is a neurological and developmental disorder that begins early in childhood and lasts throughout a person's life. ASD can cause significant social, communication, and behavioral challenges. According to recent studies, one in 54 children is affected by ASD.

Mohammed Al Emadi, Director-General and Board Member of the Dubai Autism Centre, said: “We value the efforts of our partners and the solidarity shown by the community ... to enhance community awareness about the needs of individuals with autism and their families. This is in line with the National Policy For Empowering People of Determination to create an inclusive society that ensures empowerment and a decent life for people of determination and their families."

Al Emadi also praised the UAE Cabinet's decision issued at its last meeting to adopt the National Policy for People with Autism.

Founded by the Decree of the Ruler of Dubai in 2001, Dubai Autism Centre is a non-profit organisation that provides specialised services to take care of children with autism and provide support for their families and caregivers. The centre obtains its financial resources from subsidies, donations and charitable endowments.

In 2017, the centre moved to its new headquarters in Al Garhoud. Located on an area of 90,000 square feet, the building has a total built-up area of 166,000 square feet. With its expanded headquarters, the centre was able to increase its capacity from 54 to 180 children.

The building, fully equipped for providing care to people with autism, contains 34 classrooms, 22 motor therapy clinics, 18 speech and speech therapy clinics and three rooms dedicated to sensory therapy.

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