The 4th AccessAbilities Expo, the largest event for people with disabilities in the Middle East, South Asia and Africa (MENSA), today opened at Dubai World Trade Centre with unprecedented participation and overwhelming support from across the world.
H.H. Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al Maktoum, Chairman of Dubai Civil Aviation Authority, Chairman of Dubai Airports and Chairman and Chief Executive of Emirates Airline and Group, accompanied by Ahmed Aboul Gheit, Secretary-General of the Arab League, and 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.
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, programmes and initiatives, Sheikh Ahmed thanked the organisers for giving special attention to the needs of people with disabilities for inclusion and compassion.
“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,"
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.
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 is the largest platform for manufacturers and distributors of support products, as well as government agencies, rehabilitation centres, health and educational centres that deal with people of determination.
For his part, Aboul Gheit 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 Sheikh Ahmed Bin Saeed 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.
Aboul Gheit, Buhumaid, Dr. Khaled Hanafy, Secretary-General of Union of Arab Chambers, Afif Barhoumi, United Nations Industrial Development Organisation (UNIDO-ITPO), Bahrain; and Mohamed Abdo Saeed, Hayel Saeed Anam & Co, addressed the media to highlight the message that the society should do more for inclusion of People with Disabilities.
The Ministry of Community Development, Community Development Authority in Dubai, Dubai Police, Roads and Transport Authority (RTA), Dubai Municipality, Dubai Health Authority, Dubai Customs, Dubai Corporation for Ambulance Services, Nakheel, Sanad Village, AwRostamani, Meta, HSBC, Zayed Higher Organisation and Dubai Club for People of Determination, in addition to Clemenceau Medical Centre Hospital, are participating in the exhibition as strategic partners and sponsor and Du Telecom as the Telecom Partner.
“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,”
“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 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,”
Awadh Seghayer Al Ketbi, Director-General of the Dubai Health Authority, said,
“The UAE is deeply committed to ensuring the health and well-being 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.
"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.”
Salah Habib, Chief Executive Officer of Sanad Village, noted,
“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.”
Mattar Al Tayer, Director-General and Chairman of the Board of Executive Directors of the Roads and Transport Authority (RTA), said,
“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 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 30th March, in the presence of Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed and Ahmed Aboul Gheit, 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, programmes and technology to serve People of Determination, 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.
News Source: Emirates News Agency