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Dubai Accessible Tourism International Summit kicks off on November 5

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Over 88 percent of people with disabilities go on vacation each year; About 50 million people with disabilities in ME keen to visit friendly cities.

DUBAI - The Dubai Accessible Tourism International Summit (DATIS), a new platform to help UAE move forward towards achieving its vision to become one of the world’s best and most-friendly countries for People with Disabilities, especially in the field of tourism and travel, will kick off on November 5.

The Summit’s first edition will be held under the patronage of His Highness Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al Maktoum, President of Dubai Civil Aviation Authority, Chairman of Dubai Airports and Chairman and Chief Executive of Emirates Airline and Group. The Summit aims to highlight the challenges faced by more than 10 percent of the global population during their travelling and exploring as tourists in the cities across the world, and also to underscore the need to strengthen the legislations, infrastructure and services that meet their rights, needs and aspirations to discover the world comfortably.

The Summit will be held from November 5 to 6 at the Dubai World Trade Centre. Dubai Corporation for Tourism and Commerce Marketing (DCTCM), Dubai Community Development Authority (CDA), Emirates Airlines, Abu Dhabi Department of Community Development, Dubai Duty Free, Le Meridien Dubai Hotel and Conference Centre, JW Marriott Marquis Dubai Hotel, Sanad Village and Marhaba Service are sponsoring and participating in the Summit. The Summit comes at a time when the UAE is moving forward with its efforts to become one of the best and most-advanced countries in the world for providing services and facilities that enable people with disabilities to move around freely and enjoy the world of tourism and travel.

Jamal Al Hai, Chairman of the Summit, said: “The participation of a wide range of government officials, decision makers and representatives of international organizations, as well as experts in the field of tourism, will make this event a global platform for sharing the thoughts, experiences and best practices and translating them into practice over time, allowing more than a billion people with disabilities the opportunity to get to the destination they want to explore at ease.”

Shaun Parsons, Complex General Manager, Le Meridien Dubai Complex, said: "We are honoured to be associated with the first Accessible Tourism International Summit in Dubai. Le Meridien Dubai Hotel and Conference Centre takes immense pride to be in the forefront in supporting the vision of the summit. The aim of this noble initiative coincides with our ethos of offering the best of hospitality to all our guests from all means of life. We as a partner are invested in this project and are committed to make our property accessible and friendly to the requirements of People with Determination."

The Summit aims to shed light on the requirements and needs of People with Disabilities when they are visiting tourist places and facilities such as hotels, resorts, airports, public transportation and communication, shopping centres, beaches, parks and museums. Dubai is on track to achieve its vision of becoming a friendly destination for People with Disabilities by 2020. All stakeholders in the emirate are working to reach this goal through the implementation of relevant laws and legislation and adapt smart solutions to provide the best services for this segment, especially in view of Dubai targeting 25 million tourists a year 2025.

Airports, airlines, rail network, taxis and other modes of transportation constitute the most important service facilities most-widely by the public, including those with Special Needs, who roam the world for business, tourism, medical or other important reasons. Thus, transportation facilities face challenges from this segment of passengers and looks forward to the full implementation of international laws and recommendations regarding the rights of disabled travellers and improving the quality of services provided by them.

The Summit, organized by Nadd Al Shiba Public Relations and Exhibitions, will be attended by senior international officials and experts in the public and private sectors who will address the experiences of their countries and successes in providing specialized staff and friendly infrastructure and facilities and services in sectors such as hospitality, transport and health.  According to Lonely Planet, 50 percent of People with Disabilities will travel more frequently if appropriate facilities are available wherever they go. Studies show that about 88 percent of People with Disabilities spend vacation each year, while at least 54 percent of People with Special Access requirements avoid going to new places if they find it unavailable. Studies also suggests around 50 million people with special needs in the Middle East are looking forward to visit cities and tourist destinations that offer them services tailored to their needs.

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