UAE: Mall, commercial centres to go silent to promote inclusivity

Wam/Abu Dhabi
Filed on April 3, 2021 | Last updated on April 3, 2021 at 11.04 pm

The idea is to create a calm atmosphere.

A new iniative launched in Abu Dhabi will see a mall and commercial centres go silent to promote inclusivity.

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Yas Mall will implement the 'quiet room' on the first Monday of each month, starting from April 5, to help people with autism and other sensory disorders.

From 11am to 12pm, sensory-controlled shopping experiences will see brightness of lights reduced, music cancelled and odours from perfume and incense stores limited. Additionally, all advertisements will be stopped, except for emergency information.

The idea is to create a calm atmosphere.

The Zayed Higher Organisation for People of Determination (ZHO) has partnered with multiple entities to implement the 'quiet room' drive.

Abdullah Abdulalee Al Humaidan, secretary-general of ZHO, said the organisation is keen to launch initiatives that will ensure the availability of accessible environments for people of determination, whether within the organisation’s rehabilitation care centres or in the external community.

“Therefore, we launched the quiet hour initiative in cooperation with the management of Yas Mall. This experiment will be implemented at major commercial centres during the next phase of the initiative, including the World Trade Centre in Abu Dhabi and the Al Jimi Mall in Al Ain.”

Saud Khoury, CEO of Retail at Aldar Investments, said: “As part of our continuous efforts to support people of determination, their families, and caregivers, we are pleased to open the region’s first quiet room at Yas Mall and provide a monthly quiet hour service. We understand that spending time in the mall can be an anxious and stressful experience for some individuals, and through this launch, we aim to help alleviate such anxiety by providing a therapeutic environment customised to their needs and preferences.”

He highlighted the fact that Yas Mall has obtained a gold certificate from the World Federation of Disabilities, a distinction awarded to organisations that are accessible and inclusive for people of determination.

Sensory control measures

> Reducing the brightness of light

> Cancellation of background music in stores

> Limiting odours from perfume and incense stores

> Cessation of all advertisements, except for emergencies

> Restricted store activities

> Create a calm atmosphere

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