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03 March 2024

Expo 2020 calls on People of Determination from across UAE to join its workforce


People of determination in the UAE are being encouraged to apply for employment at Expo 2020 Dubai following the launch of its Programme of Inclusion today, in collaboration with the UAE’s Ministry of Community Development.

The programme aims to empower the nation’s People of Determination by providing meaningful employment opportunities that enable them to build their professional skill sets and work experience portfolios.

Working closely with the Ministry of Community Development to develop the new initiative and source relevant applicants, Expo 2020 has been running a pilot programme for the past three months with two top Emirati candidates, Salem Bawazir and Ali AlBalooshi.

Salem, who was diagnosed with cerebral palsy, recently completed his training period with Expo 2020 and has now been offered a full-time job in the Human Resources, Workforce and Volunteers department. Ali, who was born with a hearing impairment, continues to be successfully incorporated into the Events team as a trainee.

Salem and Ali have taken full advantage of the employment opportunities made available to them, and both are now proudly contributing to the largest event ever staged in the Arab world. Their presence has also broadened the horizons of the wider Expo 2020 workforce, affording them an opportunity to learn how to better work with people of determination.

Salem Bawazir, HR Administrator, Emiratisation – Human Resources, Workforce and Volunteers, Expo 2020 Dubai, said, "I always ask people to look at my ability, not my disability, and I feel that I have been entrusted with a role that enables me to do meaningful work and prove my ability. I am enjoying being at Expo 2020 because I’m able to make real decisions that matter. I came here to serve my country; I'm proud of the contribution I’ve made so far and look forward to welcoming the world to the UAE in 2020."

Salem’s role in the Programme of Inclusion involves creating meaningful opportunities for people of determination, coordinating on accessibility matters and continuing to build a culture of inclusion at Expo 2020.

As of December 2018, Salem has helped recruit three people of determination into Expo 2020 Dubai’s workforce. Salem also facilitates the sale of arts and crafts created by people of determination at the Ministry of Community Development Rehabilition Center, and has assumed an active role in the Expo 2020 site accessibility working group.

Fatima Alloghani, Head of Expo Academy and Emiratisation – Human Resources, Workforce and Volunteers, Expo 2020 Dubai, said: "At Expo 2020, we believe that inclusivity is an opportunity to strengthen work culture and encourage diversity, which is why we are taking a leading role in establishing employment standards that focus on diversity and inclusion. We are proud of this intiative, which took a lot of courage, collective thinking and strategic partnerships with key local organisations.

"Earlier this month, the world marked the United Nations’ International Day of Persons with Disabilities, and we are very pleased to play a part in this important cause. We look forward to continuing our journey and meeting the highest standards of inclusion in the workplace."

Wafa Hamad bin Sulaiman, Director of Welfare & Rehabilitation Department for the People of Determination at the Ministry of Community Development, said, "The Ministry of Community Development works in collaboration with the public and private sectors to ingrain community responsibility rooted in Emirati cultural values, thereby bringing about community development and prosperity. Expo 2020 is a diverse place, and the inclusion of People of Determination will not only further enhance this diversity, but also harness untapped talent that can drive great professional and community value.

"The ministry makes greater efforts to provide employment opportunities for the people of determination in all government, federal, local and private sectors as part of the national policy to empower people of determination, which includes the vocational rehabilitation and employment factor for the people of determination that accommodate their needs and level of disability.

"The UAE protects the rights of People of Determination and guarantees them the right to live with dignity. We are pleased that Ali and Salem have taken on active and valuable roles in shaping Expo 2020 Dubai’s Programme of Inclusion."

Expo 2020 continues to modify its site to ensure it meets international standards for People of Determination. Changes include accessible parking bays and drop-off points, audible signs, prayer rooms modified with seating, accessible ablution room and ramps. An internal employee awareness programme also allows team members to maximise their engagement with candidates from the Programme of Inclusion.

Expo 2020’s theme of ‘Connecting Minds, Creating the Future’ extends to the inclusion of People of Determination in the Expo 2020 Volunteers programme, as well as internships.