My community.. A city for everyone

Dubai Crown Prince and Chairman of the Dubai Executive Council, H.H. Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, launched “My community… a city for everyone” in November 2013. The new initiative supports the efforts of Dubai to empower people with disabilities by creating an overarching framework that will enhance the effectiveness of existing projects and develop additional initiatives.

The vision aims to maximize the participation and integration of people with disabilities in the community. It will create new opportunities through which to overcome obstacles and create positive engagement. It recognizes that such individuals possess productive and creative capabilities.

Sheikh Hamdan directed all government departments, institutions and bodies in Dubai to take immediate necessary measures that would lead to concrete and tangible steps to support the efforts in Dubai. He hoped that the initiative would receive the support of all spectrums of society and be given a great deal of attention.

The Dubai Crown Prince affirmed that disability cannot be considered a reason to deny people the opportunity to positively participate, as this withholding is often a result of “mental” barriers and nothing to do with reality. 

Sheikh Hamdan said: “We are keen to provide various aspects of care to people with disabilities and we are committed to do so in various ways; we are working to create the best environment that is supportive to them because they are an integral part of the fabric of society. We are working hard to give them a full opportunity to release their energies and to demonstrate their ability to giving, ability which is not bordered by physical disability. Our role lies in creating alternatives and solutions that enable them to exercise their normal life and to facilitate their access to all services.” 

He added, “It is our duty to provide people with disabilities a full opportunity to employ the talents and capabilities God graced them with in what is useful to them and to their community. Enabling all segments of society is a goal which receives our utmost attention until everybody is turned into a positive and productive force; we are keen to give equal opportunities for all and we want all members of society to be positive partners in the development process. We look forward to a developmental effort which involves all groups and sectors and which is based on societal participation that does not exclude any category nor does it deprive anyone of the honour and privilege of contributing to nation-building and safeguarding of its gains. 

Within the framework of “My community.. A city for everyone” initiative, Sheikh Hamdan instructed the immediate drafting of a law to protect individuals with disabilities in Dubai and the launch of a hotline to report any sign of discrimination, abuse, negligence or exploitation against any person with special need. The hotline will also provide information on services for people with disabilities and places where these services can be reached. He also directed all relevant services bodies in both public and private sectors to immediately begin finding ways to serve people with disabilities by providing suitably qualified staff and experienced trainers who could facilitate access to services easily and simply. 

Sheikh Hamdan also gave his instructions to the services bodies to develop training programmes and guides to all major services in a format that made them available to people with disabilities.

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