Dubai: The fourth edition of AccessAbilities Expo, billed as the “largest event for people with disabilities in the Middle East, South Asia and Africa”, on Tuesday opened at Dubai World Trade Centre.
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 Ahmed Aboul Gheit, Secretary-General of the Arab League, and Hessa Bint Essa Buhumaid, Minister of Community Development, inaugurated the Expo, which features 250 exhibitors from 50 countries showcasing 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 paying special attention to the needs of people of determination for inclusion and compassion.
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.”
Organised by Nadd Al Shiba PR & Event Management, the Expo is attracting than 10,000 specialised 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.
Ahmed Aboul Gheit, Secretary-General of the League of Arab States, expressed his happiness to participate in the event. He extended his thanks to Sheikh Ahmed for his continuous sponsorship of the exhibition and the ‘Living Independently’ initiative, which represents an additional 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.
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 Sheikh Ahmed and 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.