Thursday, February 22, 2018
Accessabilities Expo Gets Strong Support From Government Bodies
Government bodies highlight services for people of determination

Government departments in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) highlighted their accessibility initiatives, aimed at making the nation disabled friendly, at the ongoing AccessAbilities Expo, the Middle East’s largest expo for people of determination, bring held under the patronage of His Highness Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al Maktoum, President of Dubai Civil Aviation Authority, Chairman of Dubai Airports, Chairman and Chief Executive of Emirates Airline and Group, at Dubai International Convention and Exhibition Centre.

The three-day expo, which will run till November 9, has a strong support from government bodies in the UAE including Ministry of Community Development, Dubai Health Authority, Dubai Municipality, Roads and Transport Authority (RTA), Dubai Electricity and Water Authority (DEWA), Dubai Police, General Directorate of Residency and Foreigners Affairs (GDRFA) in Dubai, Community Development Authority (CDA), Dubai Customs and Dubai Ambulance Services (DCAS), who highlighted their new services, employment opportunities, and facilities aimed at inclusion and ensuring happiness of their customers and employees having disabilities.

The Ministry of Community Development, demonstrated its experience in empowering and supporting people of determination through the Moeen Centre for Assistive Technology.It also showcased several assistive devices provided by the Moeen Centre to empower people of determination in their daily lives, as well as its smart applications, such as the Tawasol (communication) application.

The Ministry stated that its participation in AccessAbilities Expo is a reflection of its efforts to raise awareness in the community about the ministry’s role in supporting people of determination and enabling them to achieve stability, while facilitating their total integration in the community.


H.E. Humaid Mohammed Al Qatami, Chairman of the Dubai Health Authority (DHA), said that AccessAbilities Expo reflects the values ??established in the UAE society towards the people of determination. Dubai has been taking many initiatives as well as set laws to protect the rights of people of determination and encourage their highest participation in the society and different sectors of the economy.

H.E. Eng. Hussain Nasser Lootah, Director General, Dubai Municipality, emphasized on the Municipality’s keen interest to participate as strategic partner in AccessAbilities Expo 2017, and said the Dubai Municipality is firmly committed to realise its vision of building a happy and sustainable city and enacting its social responsibility, and has prioritised the provision of multiple and diversified quality services to that category, while taking into account the modernisation, development and facilitation of the services provided by its facilities, service centres and projects in line with international standards and international experiences.

“Advancements in technology are helping people of determination function in a way that was not even thought of earlier, empowering and enabling them to function independently as well as increasing their employability. The UAE leadership’s vision is focused on making the nation fully disabled friendly, and enhancing the participation of people of determination in the community and the economy and the nation is acting faster than other places in this area. Toward achieving this goal, there is a need for this assistive technology to reach the maximum number of people with disabilities,” said Lootah.

H.E. Mattar Al Tayer, Director-General and Chairman of the Board of Executive Directors, Roads and Transport Authority (RTA), stressed the Authority’s keenness on the friendliness of all its projects, facilities and public transport services to people of determination, which reflects RTA’s commitment to strengthening the implementation of Federal Law No 29 for 2006 related to people of determination.

He said: “RTA gives special attention to people of determination and the elderly, and it has designed all types of public transport means, including metro, buses, marine transport and taxis to meet their needs. The Dubai metro and stations have audio-visual advertising equipment that provide guidance, information and presentation of information for people with visual and hearing impairments, as well as land markings that facilitate the movement of people with visual impairment by tracking ground movements that guide them to the gates or to the spaces assigned to them in vehicles. Elevators and electric escalators are equipped with audio-visual systems dedicated to people of determination with visual and hearing impairments.”

He said the public transport buses as well as marine transport is mobility friendly. Dubai Taxi Corporation has also dedicated specially equipped vehicles to serve people of determination in accordance with best hardware standards that facilitate the process of traveling in taxis equipped with a high weight hydraulic lifting apparatus, in addition to the provision of qualified and trained drivers to deal with people of determination.

“In addition, the RTA also exempts holders of Sanad Cards from public transport fees by granting them Nol Cards that enable them use all transport means including Metro Dubai, buses and Water Bus. They are also exempted from Salik road toll fees, and registration and license renewal fees of only one vehicle, in addition to 50 per cent discount applicable to driver license fees. People of determination are also exempted from paid parking fees and are allocated free parking spaces located across vital areas.”

Dubai Police highlighted its latest innovations for people of determination including software that enables employees to detect prohibited items using their focus, gloves that convert sign language to speech and others. The Dubai Police has translated all its 300 books at the Dubai Police Academy to braille, facilitating learning for people of determination.

Major General Mohammed Ahmed Al Marri, Director General, General Directorate of Residency and Foreigners Affairs in Dubai (GDRFA-D), said: “Accessibilities Expo is among the most important exhibitions as it provides a platform to showcase innovative smart solutions as well as the latest technologies from major international companies, all of which serves to enhance the lives of people with determination and empower them to become more self-dependent individuals.”

He said in line with the General Directorate of Residency and Foreigners Affairs in Dubai (GDFRA-D)’s commitment to achieving the vision of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, UAE’s Vice President and Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai, to make Dubai a friendly place for the people with determination by 2020, the GDFRA-D provides an array of services and initiatives for people with determination, whether they are clients or employees.

“Some of the initiatives include-‘We are ready’, which provides training workshops to prepare for emergency situations; ‘Good Omen’, an initiative providing special parking places, equipped with a special answering devices, for people of determination; ‘Do not Hesitate’, a questionnaire aimed at assessing and satisfying the requirements and wishes of people of determination; ‘Your convenience is our pleasure’ initiative for providing electronic wheelchairs; ‘Dalili’, the Braille guide to management services; and ‘Relax’, which is about providing an emergency button.”

The GDRFA-Dubai showcased the entire package of new smart services aimed at helping passengers and customers with disabilities. GDRFA also provided free Smart Gate registration at the Expo.

Community Development Authority (CDA) highlighted several of its initiatives aimed at enhancing lives of people of determination. CDA has a mobile therapy unit, designed and equipped to provide early detection and early intervention therapy services to children in their neighbourhoods. The Authority also offers dedicated free apps that allow the users to learn about the activities and news of the mobile units, book appointments, find the rout and plan their children session accordingly. 

Ahmed Mahboob Musabih, Director of Dubai Customs, said: ““Dubai Customs devotes particular attention to people of determination. Our strategy and operational plan include a range of programs and initiative that are aimed at serving this category of employees and customers and assisting them in leading smooth lives as productive members of society. All our Customs premises and facilities are designed to be differently-abled friendly on par with international standards and global best practices.”

Musabih noted that Dubai Customs exempts goods, medical supplies and materials used by people with disabilities from Customs duties as per the provisions of the Cabinet Resolution. 

 “Dubai Customs also cares for the professional development of its special needs staff by incorporating strategic programs to build their skills and on-the-job experience. We lately launched a first-of-its-kind Leadership Development Program for People with Determination which is intended to train our employees from this segment as potential leaders in different areas of Customs job,” stated Ahmed Mahboob. 

Dubai Corporation for Ambulance Services (DCAS) also showed a range of its services for people of determination.

More than 150 exhibitors from 40 countries including USA, Canada, South Korea, UK, Australia, Cyprus, India, China, Italy, Czech Republic, Kuwait, Jordan, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates (UAE), are showcasing the world’s latest assistive technology products and solutions, at AccessAbilities Expo, being held in Dubai International Convention and Exhibition Centre.

Emirates is supporting AccessAbilities Expo as the official airline and flydubai is the Gold Sponsor for the Expo.

The expo also has strong support from Etisalat as the Strategic Telecommunications Partner, Alpha Destinations Management as the Strategic Tourism Partner, Arabian Millennium Medical Trading (AMMT) as the Foundation Partner, SEDRA as the Information Partner and Planet Travel and Tours as the Travel Partner.

Organised jointly by Reed Exhibitions Middle East and Nadd AlShiba PR and Event Management, the expo aims to benefit over 750 million individuals with disabilities worldwide (according to WHO), 50 million of whom are in the Middle East. 

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