Panelists during a session at the summit in Dubai on Wednesday Image Credit: Supplied

Dubai: The third edition of Dubai Accessible Travel and Tourism International Summit (DATTIS) heard that the Arab world should collaborate with the UAE in formulating successful strategies for people of determination.

DATTIS is held under the patronage of Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al Maktoum, President of Dubai Civil Aviation Authority, Chairman of Dubai Airports and Chairman of Emirates Airline and Group.

Earlier, on Tuesday, Sheikh Ahmed had inaugurated the fourth edition of AccessAbilities Expo at Dubai World Trade Centre where more than 200 companies and rehabilitation centres from over 50 countries are participating, along with over 10,000 visitors with special needs and their families.

DATTIS is held on the sidelines of the expo. It featured the first major gathering of tourism industry stakeholders post-pandemic, bringing together senior decision-makers of international organisations, airports, airlines, hotels, tour operators and other stakeholders to debate the challenges, lost opportunities and future growth avenues.

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Addressing the summit, Ahmed Aboul Gheit, Secretary-General, League of Arab States, called upon the Arab world to follow the UAE as a model accessible destination that fosters overall development with the inclusion of people of determination.

“Governments should accept actionable recommendations to achieve employment, tourism without borders and inclusion,” he said.

The UAE took a lead in promoting accessible travel and tourism in the region by hosting the global summit to promote comfortable ways for 50 million travellers with special needs to explore some 100 destinations in the “post-pandemic times”.

‘Travel without borders’

Jamal Al Bedwawi, an advocate for the rights of people of determination, in his presentation titled ‘The World Through Our Eyes - Experiences of tourists with disabilities in exploring the destination’, said the world must overcome the hurdles faced by people with disabilities for facilitating travel without borders.

Dr Khaled Hanafy, Secretary-General, Union of Arab Chamber, emphasised the need for enhancing the role of the private sector in enabling people with disabilities to live independently. He also suggested that the Arab League should issue a guideline to be adopted by hotels, airports and public utilities to help people with disabilities to live independently.

Daniela Bas, Director, Division for Inclusive Social Development, United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs, USA, said people of determination have the right to economic and social security.

“They face discrimination and barriers that restrict them from participating in society on an equal basis with others. Therefore, the UN member states have the obligation to adopt the provisions of the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities [CRPD] that had been ratified by 185 countries,” Bas added.