- Sheikh Ahmed opens Expo and thanks organizers for inclusive initiatives to support people with disabilities
- 250 exhibitors from 50 countries showcase advanced assistive technologies for the first time in the region
- Ahmed bin Saeed: “Empowering People of Determination is at the top of our rational government’s priority list.”
- Ahmed Aboul Gheit: “Guiding Arab inventors to serve millions of people of determination in the region
- World Health Organization: Only one in ten people have access to assistive technology
Dubai, UAE: The 4th AccessAbilities Expo, the largest event for people with disabilities in the Middle East, South Asia and Africa, today opened at Dubai World Trade Centre with unprecedented participation and overwhelming support from across the world.
His Highness Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al Maktoum, President of Dubai Civil Aviation Authority, President of Dubai Airports, Chairman and Chief Executive, Emirates Airline and Group, accompanied by His Excellency Ahmed Aboul Gheit, Secretary-General of the Arab League, and Her Excellency Hessa Bint Essa Buhumaid, Minister of Community Development, inaugurated the Expo, which has 250 exhibitors from 50 countries exhibiting products and services for people of determination.
HE Dr. Khaled Hanafi, Secretary-General of the Federation of Arab Chambers, and other senior officials also participated in the opening ceremony.
After touring the pavilions of companies showcasing innovative technologies, programs and initiatives, His Highness Sheikh Ahmed thanked the organizers for giving special attention to the needs of people with disabilities for inclusion and compassion.
His Highness Sheikh Ahmed, patron of the exhibition, said: “The UAE is at the forefront of countries in the world that have developed a sustainable strategy to empower people of determination. With the aim of enabling them and preparing them to live independently within the framework of the national policy set by our rational government to ensure that they have access to all opportunities, experiences and distinctive lifestyles available to anyone else in the UAE .”
His Highness Sheikh Ahmed expressed his appreciation for the wide participation in the exhibition from the public and private sectors to serve the people of determination and meet their needs, stressing that the event is a common platform for meeting and cooperating with the international counterparts in order to build a sustainable future that meets the aspirations of the people of determination.
Organized by Nadd Al Shiba PR & Event Management, the Expo is seeing overwhelming response from all stakeholders and is attracting than 10,000 specialized visitors from different countries.
The exhibition is showcasing technology products, some of which are presented for the first time in the Middle East, to empower people of determination and enhance their capabilities. The exhibition, which is the largest of its kind in the Middle East, Africa and the Indian subcontinent, is the largest platform for manufacturers and distributors of support products, as well as government agencies, rehabilitation centers, health and educational centers that deal with people of determination.
For his part, Ahmed Aboul Gheit, Secretary-General of the League of Arab States, expressed his happiness to participate in this important Arab international event, which represents a qualitative breakthrough, in the interest of persons with disabilities, not only in the Arab countries, but also in the world, extending his thanks to His Highness Sheikh Ahmed Bin Saeed Al Maktoum for his continuous sponsorship of this important international exhibition and the “ Living Independently” initiative, which represents an additional important step, within the framework of the work of the League of Arab States, as part of its efforts to support the implementation of the International Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities.
HE Ahmed Aboul Gheit, Secretary General of League of Arab States, HE Hessa Bint Essa Buhumaid, Minister of Community Development in UAE, HE Dr. Khaled Hanafy, Secretary General of Union of Arab Chambers, Mr. Afif Barhoumi, United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO-ITPO), Bahrain, and Mohamed Abdo Saeed of Hayel Saeed Anam & Co addressed the media to highlight the message that the society should do more for inclusion of People with Disabilities.
HE Hessa Bint Essa Buhumaid, Minister of Community Development in UAE, said:”The hosting of the Expo comes to confirm once again that the UAE is a meeting place for connecting minds and creating the future for all members of society in all its categories, which embodies a great opportunity for international cooperation between all countries, to view the new technological and innovative solutions provided to people of determination.
She added: ” The Expo is a reflection of the provisions of the United Nations Convention ratified by the UAE, especially Article 9, which urged facilitating the access and participation of people of determination to the surrounding physical environment, means of transportation and information, including assistive technology. The techniques and rehabilitation programs that the exhibition provides to its visitors are the best evidence of this, in addition to the exhibition’s ability to attract people of determination and their families and workers with them from different countries of the world, to learn about the services that support them in the fields of education, employment, home, and other recreational and community services so that they can live independent on an equal basis with others. The Ministry of Community Development has sought, through a system of policies and strategies that support and enable people of determination, to enable people of determination to easily access various information in ways that suit their abilities, and also enable them to have easy and safe access to various places and services, through the use of modern technologies that support their mobility and communication and their access to various services, products and information, with the maximum possible independence. This was reflected in the national policy to empower people of determination in the country, in its various health, educational and operational areas, and even in the fields of sports, culture and entertainment.
His Excellency Awadh Seghayer Al Ketbi, Director-General of the Dubai Health Authority, said: “The UAE is deeply committed to ensuring the health and wellbeing of People of Determination and has empowered and enriched the lives of People of Determination. AccessAbilities Expo brings together latest technologies, services and ideas from around the world as well as experts to brainstorm and share knowledge.
The patronage of His Highness Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al Maktoum, Chairman and Chief Executive of Emirates Airline and Group, and Chairman of Dubai Airports, provides further impetus to this significant event.
Dubai Health Authority is proud to take part in this pertinent event which presents an opportunity to exchange knowledge and share the latest developments with local, regional and international entities with a common aim to further enhance the lives of People of Determination.”
“We are delighted to be part of this platform that works towards the UAE’s vision of creating an inclusive and compassionate society. The AccessAbilities Expo provides an excellent opportunity to engage directly with various stakeholders, including NGOs, educational institutions, and government entities from across the region. This helps us to develop and gain insights into Sanad Village’s comprehensive approach to supporting people of determination,” said Salah Habib, Chief Executive Officer of Sanad Village.
“Equipped with numerous facilities for exercises and sensory experiences, as well as for simulating real-life scenarios, the Sanad Village model has become a global benchmark. Together, we are working to create a society that supports people with disabilities in the areas of education, health, and social welfare, and provides them with training and employment opportunities,” he said.
His Excellency Mattar Al Tayer, Director-General and Chairman of the Board of Executive Directors of the Roads and Transport Authority (RTA), said: RTA is one of the leading government agencies in empowering and enhancing the welfare of people of determination, as it has sought, since its inception, to translate the directives of the wise leadership, in making Dubai a friendly city for people of determination. These directives provide a package of services and facilities for people of determination in the various means of transportation, as well as ensuring that all its projects and facilities, especially mass transportation, are friendly to people of determination, in compliance with the implementation of Federal Law No. 29 of 2006 regarding the rights of people of determination.
He added: “We are pleased to participate in the AccessAbilities Expo which we will seek to positively interact with people of determination, and present the most important projects and services designated for them, in compliance with the terms of the “Dubai Code”, available in all RTA facilities and buildings, taking into account their needs.”
The Ministry of Community Development, Community Development Authority in Dubai, Dubai Police, Roads and Transport Authority, Dubai Municipality, Dubai Health Authority, Dubai Customs, Dubai Corporation for Ambulance Services, Nakheel, Sanad Village, AwRostamani, Meta, HSBC, Zayed Higher Organization and Dubai Club for People of Determination, in addition to Clemenceau Medical Center Hospital are participating in the exhibition as strategic partners and sponsor and Du Telecom as the Telecom Partner.
The General Secretariat of the Federation of Arab Chambers of Commerce had launched the initiative ‘Live Independently’ with the support of the Arab League and in cooperation with the Bahrain branch of UNIDO, and signed a joint cooperation agreement with the management of the International Exhibition of People of Determination, on March 30, in the presence of His Highness Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed and His Excellency Ahmed Abu Al-Ghait, with the aim of showcasing the innovations of Arab innovators during the exhibition to support technologies that serve the people of determination.
The initiative aims to encourage Arab innovators to create advanced systems, programs and technology to serve people with special needs, complying with high standards, according to which the technology most appropriate to the needs of people of determination is selected and the necessary funding is sought.