Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al Maktoum with Majid Usaimi and other dignitaries at the opening of Dubai Accessible Tourism International Summit.
Dubai: Leaders, experts, other stakeholders from the UAE and around the world called upon cities and airports to offer better services, facilities to people of determination in order to make travel more accessible to them.
A panel of experts, including Paralympic athletes, leaders and experts with disabilities unanimously raised the need for travel facilities to be improved at the second edition of Dubai Accessible Tourism International Summit (DATIS 2022) held here today.
The day-long conference was held under the patronage of 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. In his message, Sheikh Ahmed said: “The UAE has placed the comfort and care of people of Determination as a core pillar of our community’s wellbeing. In line with the vision of our leadership to be amongst the friendliest countries in the world for people of determination, we are pleased to host the second edition of DATIS, to showcase how we have made our cities more accessible and enjoyable for millions of tourists from around the world.”
The purpose of the conference is to ensure greater access and facilities for people of determination
‘Improving cities and tourist facilities’
“The Summit will give us a chance to meet like-minded leaders and experts from across the globe to share their experiences and best practices. This will help us further improve our cities and tourist facilities, including hotels, resorts, airports, transport services, shopping malls, beaches, parks and museums to serve the requirements of tourists with disabilities from around the world and ensure they get the best possible services and experience in our country,” Sheikh Ahmed added.
More than 20 speakers and experts from government and private agencies, in addition to representatives of IATA, Airports Council International, the World Tourism Organization and the World Health Organization, participated in the summit, which was held in both personal and visual formats . In addition to the participation of international experts in the field of transportation, global design and facilitated mobility . The conference also provided two training sessions on best practices in dealing with travelers and hotel guests.
Majid Usaimi, the first National Ambassador from the UAE, president of the Asian Paralympic Committee, chief executive officer of Dubai Club for People of Determination was the moderator for the day-long session. Usaimi told Gulf News: “There are currently more than a billion people disabled in the world. 15 per cent of the population in the world has a disability and there is a need to ensure proper accessibility and facilities for them during travel.
“The purpose of this conference is to ensure greater access and facilities for people of determination. We have some suggestions that we will take up with the stakeholders on this. We will ensure it is done.”
Manar Abdul Qader Al Hammadi, human resources specialist at the General Directorate of Residency and Foreigners Affairs — Dubai (GDRFA-Dubai), said: “As a blind person, I face a challenge with touch screens. In some hotels, everything is operated on touch screens. I cannot see which bottle is shampoo, or which is conditioner, which is shower gel. Stakeholders can go a long way to make things more user-friendly for people of determination.
“In some countries and airports, there are certain equipment I am not allowed to carry with me into the aircraft. These help me with navigation, but owing to different rules in different countries, I am not allowed to carry them. We hope that standards will be set for people of determination around the world. It should be a standard facility that airports around the world must adopt.”
Dawood Al Hajri, Director General of Dubai Municipality, said that Dubai Municipality has adopted the issuance of the “Dubai Code ” for the Qualified Environment, in the design of buildings, to be classified as friendly to people of determination, suitable for them, such as special parking, suitable elevators and wheelchairs, in addition to providing free entry for people of determination, and some of their companions.