Dubai summit calls society to be more inclusive Filed on November 5, 2019 | Last updated on November 5, 2019 at 08.52 pm
Dubai, UAE, summit, society, more inclusive, DATIS, people of determination, Dubai Accessible Tourism International Summit,
Visitors and exhibitors pose for the photos at the Dubai Accessible Tourism International Summit (DATIS) at the Dubai World Trade Centre.-Photo by Shihab

The two-day summit is also aimed at realising Dubai's vision to become one of the world's most disabled-friendly cities by 2020.

The need for enhanced inclusion of people of determination into society was highlighted at the AccessAbilities Expo and Dubai Accessible Tourism International Summit (DATIS) that opened on Tuesday at the Dubai World Trade Centre.

The two-day summit is also aimed at realising Dubai's vision to become one of the world's most disabled-friendly cities by 2020.

Hessa bint Essa Buhumaid, Minister of Community Development, noted that the UAE is a role model in the inclusion of PoD. "We are happy that companies are taking keen interest in developing smart solutions and technologies to provide a better life for people of determination," she said.

"The UAE is in the lead position to protect the rights of the people of determination and the country has made it a national policy. We will provide health services for persons of determination at low cost and the DHA will give all facilities and make all the buildings friendly for them," said Humaid Mohamed Al Qutami, director-general of the Dubai Health Authority (DHA).

He also said that the DHA will promote health tourism "with a strategy to ensure access to all hospital buildings and facilities".

Speaking about accessible tourism, Ahmad Abdulkarim Julfar, director-general at the Community Development Authority (CDA), said people of determination should be made partners in progress. "Dubai Tourism offers training to support them, and there are special rooms in hotels and discounts. In fact, we have empowered them through the vision of our leaders and they have become active citizens."

Dubai resident Tarek Farhat, 36, shared with Khaleej Times his frustrations at not being able to travel abroad without a companion "because of lack of facilities for people of determination".

"I always wanted to travel abroad and see things like normal able-bodied people do but I really find it difficult to travel alone. I hope that there will be better and more inclusive facilities for tourists," added the Egyptian expat who works as a social media manager for a company in Dubai.

Majid Al Usaimi, member of the Higher Committee for the Protection of the Rights of the Persons with Disabilities at the Dubai Executive Council and President of Asian Paralympic Committee, underlined: "It is the right of the people of determination to have access everywhere and we are happy to face the challenges. We look forward to equality, tolerance and compassion."

Meanwhile, dnata, one of the world's largest air services providers, said that it is "committed to investing in state-of-the-art equipment to ensure the comfort and accessibility of passengers with varying degrees of reduced mobility".

The company has recently added five new ambulifts to its ground support equipment fleet and now operates 20 medical high loaders in Dubai. Last year, dnata provided special assistance to over 1.3 million passengers in Dubai.

Angel Tesorero

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