Dubai disability-friendly city by 2020 - Emirates24|7

Dubai disability-friendly city by 2020

The General Secretariat of Executive Council of Dubai will launch the ‘Dubai Inclusive Development Forum’ at Madinat Jumeirah on October 11 and 12, 2015.

A first-of-its-kind event in the emirate, the ‘Dubai Inclusive Development Forum’ is a key move to achieve the aim of 'My Community' initiative in establishing Dubai as a fully inclusive, disability-friendly city by 2020, said Abdullah Al Shaibani, Secretary-General of Executive Council of Dubai and Vice-Chairman of Higher Committee for the Protection of the Rights of Persons with Disabilities.

“Joining together the efforts of all concerned authorities in Dubai is also central in providing important and essential services for persons with disabilities. We look forward to uncover future plans and steps that will be taken to take full advantage of the opportunities available, and overcome any obstacles that may stand in the way of persons with disabilities,” he added.

The move is in line with Law No. (2) Of 2014 on the Protection of the Rights of Persons with Disabilities in the Emirate of Dubai.

Issued by His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, the law aims to ensure people with disabilities enjoy all their rights, enhance their respect, preserve their dignity and protect them from all forms of discrimination or abuse, as well as highlighting their potential abilities in contributing to the development of the community.

Al Shaibani said, “The new law envisages cooperation among all authorities concerned in Dubai to provide people with disabilities healthcare, habilitation and rehabilitation services and educational opportunities that are equal to those provided to their peers at all stages. It also offers them the use of public services, including the use of roads, public transport, and utility services, in addition to an accessible environment ensuring their easy integration and access within the community.”

“Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Crown Prince of Dubai and Chairman of the Executive Council, issued Law No. (3) of 2014 on 'the establishment of the Higher Committee to protect the rights of people with disabilities in the emirate of Dubai. The law aims to implement the terms outlined and to supervise initiatives and activities being undertaken to protect the rights of persons with disabilities. Hence, we confirm that joining efforts of the concerned government authorities in implementing successful concrete projects, have markedly contributed in complementing previous and current laws. We reassure today that this initiative has so far gained great support within the community and this, in turn, reflects the broad community awareness on the important and active role that persons with disabilities play as individuals who can make positive change like their peers,” he pointed out.

‘My Community... A City for Everyone’ initiative aims at providing equal opportunities to everyone in the community, including persons with disabilities. The initiative also strengthens social solidarity, cooperation and inclusive unity to best serve the community, thus eliminating all forms of discrimination or abuse, and eventually turning Dubai into a disability-friendly city that ensures proper nurturing, justice and equal opportunities," said Khaled Al Kamda, Director-General of the Community Development Authority and Member of the Higher Committee for the Protection of the Rights of Persons with Disabilities.

‘The Dubai Inclusive Development Forum’ is a platform for collective cooperation on five strategic pillars upon which the strategy for the protection of the rights of persons with disabilities is based, including: social protection, availing public services and utilities, employment, education, health, habilitation and rehabilitation. Hence, the Forum will offer the opportunity to shed light on international experiences in these areas. Additionally, organizing special workshops during the forum will help impart knowledge and discuss these challenges with select international speakers,” added Kamda.

Meanwhile, Majid Al Osaimi, President of Asian Paralympic Committee, Vice-President of UAE Disabled Sports Federation and Member of the Higher Committee for the Protection of the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, said, “I would like to thank Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Crown Prince of Dubai and Chairman of the Executive Council for all his efforts in establishing ‘My Community.. A City for Everyone’ initiative and the Higher Committee for the Protection of the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, chaired by Sheikh Mansour bin Mohammed Al Maktoum. These great efforts reflect the faith of our visionary leadership in persons with disabilities and their abilities to contribute in building our nation."

"We expect extensive participation from people with disabilities in the initial stages to support the success of the programmes and projects undertaken as they offer their opinions and thoughts on their own experiences and their needs. This in turns allows the successful implementation of the vision towards an inclusive society and the provision of equal rights for persons with disabilities in the society. We also expect extensive participation of people with disabilities in the forum as a way for them and the various attending parties to exchange experiences and insights and benefit from the learnings of worldwide experiments. Our invited speakers will be discussing their experiences and sharing their knowledge in various fields which the relevant authorities should consider in their goals towards the protection of the rights of persons with disabilities".

The announcement was made in a press conference at Emirates Towers in the presence of select representatives of the Higher Committee for the Protection of the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, as well as local media.

Among attendees at the conference were Abdullah Al Shaibani, Secretary-General of the Executive Council of Dubai and Vice-Chairman of the Higher Committee for the Protection of the Rights of Persons with Disabilities; Khaled Al Kamda, Director-General of the Community Development Authority and Member of the Higher Committee for the Protection of the Rights of Persons with Disabilities; Majid Al Osaimi, President of the Asian Paralympic Committee, Vice-President of the UAE Disabled Sports Federation and Member of the Higher Committee for the Protection of the Rights of Persons with Disabilities; and Dr. Salem Alshafei, Director of Policies and Programs, Rights of Persons with Disabilities at the General Secretariat of Executive Council of Dubai.
 

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