Dubai’s AccessAbilities 2016 as First Step to Reaching Emirates’ 2020 Accessibility Goals
Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al Maktoum will host AccessAbilities 2016, the emirate’s first accessibility exhibition between February 8-10, 2016 featuring more than 150 exhibitions. This exhibition boasts a particular focus on technology for persons with disabilities.
This is part of His Highness Sheikh Hamdan Bin Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum’s strategy to make Dubai the world’s most accessible city for persons with disabilities by 2020. 50 million of the 750 million persons with disabilities worldwide live in the Middle East, necessitating such urgent action.
The city will hold the expo in collaboration with various other governmental authorities, such as the Dubai Electricity and Water Authority and the Community Development Authority, alongside participation from 30 other countries and additional private sector organizations.
His Highness Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al Maktoum envisions this as a way to “[bring] in the best of solutions, services and products from across the globe on a common platform.” He further recognizes the important role persons with disabilities have played in UAE society throughout its history.
This event complements the government’s other recent initiatives to implement their 2020 goals. For example, they are developing further legal measures, improving health care and social services, raising awareness, and improving overall infrastructure. Finally, they hope to mainstream sign language and Braille in the country.
A recent government press release describes the overall strategy: “By bringing the latest technologies, facilities and services that can empower people with disabilities, Access Abilities will contribute to the noble vision of UAE’s leadership to improve lives of individuals with special needs and make them our partner in all our achievements.”