Dubai will host the world’s first Accessible Tourism International Summit from 5 to 6 November 2019. Held under the patronage of His Highness Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al Maktoum, president of Dubai Civil Aviation Authority, chairman of Dubai Airports and chairman and chief executive of Emirates Airline and Group, the Summit will be held under the theme of “making all cities friendly for tourists with disabilities”.
At the launch of the National Strategy for Empowering People with Disabilities in 2017, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum introduced a new description for special needs people. He called them ‘people of determination’.
The Accessible Tourism International Summit aims to highlight the challenges faced by the one billion ‘people of determination’ during their travels as visitors or tourists to cities around the world. The Summit will also discuss the necessity to strengthen the legislations, laws, infrastructure and services catering to the needs of tourists with disabilities and their aspirations to explore the world with ease.
His Highness said: "Disability is in fact the inability to make progress and achievements. The achievements that ‘people of determination’ have made in various spheres over the past years are proof that determination and strong will can do the impossible and encourage people to counter challenges and difficult circumstances while firmly achieving their goals.”
Within the framework of this new perspective, Dubai considers ‘people of determination’ an integral part of its human capital. Developing and empowering them is a key pillar of its development plans. The Government of Dubai has issued many legislations to protect their rights and provide them with internationally benchmarked support.
Following the introduction of the National Strategy for Empowering People with Disabilities, Sheikh Mohammed directed the appointment of a dedicated person in every service-related organisation, to be responsible for facilitating services for ‘people of determination’. The government also launched several campaigns to increase awareness about their rights and services available to them.