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Dubai on way to become 'disability friendly city'

DUBAI, April 13, 2016

Dubai has unveiled a detailed plan to transform the whole city into a barrier-free, inclusive, disability-friendly city across all modes of lifestyle, transport and communications over the next four years.
 
The new scheme titled 'A Friendly Environment for Persons with Disabilities According to Universal Design Principles and Standards' has been laaunched by Higher Committee for the Protection of the Rights of Persons with Disabilities.
 
A joint venture between the General Secretariat of the Executive Council, Road and Transport Authority (RTA), Community Development Authority, and Dubai Municipality, in addition to a number of real estate developers, the project is aimed at transforming the whole city of Dubai into a barrier-free, inclusive, disability-friendly city for persons with disabilities - a city that respects the rights of persons with disabilities and supports their own free will.
 
Unveiling the scheme, Abdullah Al Shaibani, vice chairman of The Higher Committee for the Protection of the Rights of Persons with Disabilities and Secretary General of the Executive Council of Dubai, said: "The project is based on a comprehensive phase to review and evaluate infrastructure, facilities and public transportation in Dubai."
 
Al Shaibani stressed that the local law on protection of the rights of persons with disabilities in Dubai, aims to 'ensure that people with disabilities enjoy all their rights, enhance the level of respect they receive, preserve their dignity and support their capabilities and participation in the development process.'
 
The project includes a five-year plan that ensures all types of buildings and facilities, as well as sidewalks, pedestrian crosswalks, roads, buses, trains, marine and air transportation, are suitable for persons with disabilities by 2020, with a view to making Dubai one of the best disability friendly cities in the world. 
 
The announcement was made in the presence of Mattar Al Tayer, chairman of the board and executive director of the RTA; Hussain Lootah, director general of Dubai Municipality; Khaled Al Kamda, director general of the Community Development Authority; and Majid Al Ossaimi, member of the Higher Committee for the Protection of the Rights of Persons with Disabilities,.
 
"In order to ensure the enforcement of this law, Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum issued decree No. 3 of 2014 to establish the Higher Committee for the Protection of the Rights of Persons with Disabilities in Dubai, to be chaired by Sheikh Mansoor bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, with the aim of ensuring the implementation of the provisions of the local law and supervising the Dubai Strategy for Disabilities 2020, its initiatives and action plans to protect the rights of persons with disabilities,” he said.
 
“The joint project, 'A Friendly Environment for Persons with Disabilities According to Universal Design Principles and Standards,' is one of the main outputs of the Dubai Strategy for Disabilities 2020, launched by Sheikh Mansoor, aimed to transform Dubai into a disability friendly city by 2020.
 
The strategy includes a number of themes such as healthcare and rehabilitation, integrated education, employment and equality in terms of employment opportunities and public facilities and services, in addition to sustainable social protection in order to make Dubai a friendly city for everyone.”
 
It will also address assessment of policies and standards that will be developed to ensure their suitability for persons with disabilities based on the Universal Design Model and in line with 'My Community… A City for Everyone' initiative,  launched by Sheikh Hamdan.
 
Ottawa-based Gates Foundation is responsible for implementing the project that will last over the course of eight months and will include studying, evaluating and rehabilitating standard facilities as per the Universal Design Standards, as well as developing a final form for the design criteria as per Dubai’s slogan.
 
The project’s implementation in accordance with the Universal Design Standards and principles will allow persons with disabilities to obtain their rights to live in a barrier-free environment without any obstacles limiting their movement on roads, transportation or public utilities. 
 
The scheme will set new standards to rehabilitate the environment and ensure the safety and freedom of movement for persons with disabilities, as well as people with special needs, such as the elderly, pregnant women and others who need assistance and support in public utilities and transportation. - TradeArabia News Service



Tags: Dubai | disability | City | friendly |

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