For the first time in the region, Dubai hosts assistive technology to serve 50 million persons with disabilities
Wide participation of the “Living Independently” initiative in providing direction to the inventions of Arab innovators to serve people of determination
Ahmed bin Saeed: “The UAE is among the first countries that have put in place a sustainable enablement strategy”
Ahmed Aboul Gheit: “We are glad to participate, and the Expo is a qualitative start to serve persons with disabilities”
WHO: “The number of persons with disabilities worldwide will reach 2 billion by 2050”
His Highness Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al Maktoum, President of Dubai Civil Aviation Authority, Chairman of Dubai Airports and Chairman and Chief Executive, Emirates Airline & Group, Patron of AccessAbilities Expo (AAE), stressed that the UAE is among the first countries in the world to have put in place a sustainable enablement strategy to help empower people of determination on different levels.
“There are amazing efforts by the relevant entities in the government and private sectors to build an inclusive society for the people of determination and their families, as part of the national policy devised by our wise government to ensure they get the opportunities, experiences and distinguished lifestyles available to any other individual in our country,” H.H. said.
H.H. expressed happiness as to the size of local and international attention to and participation in the 4th edition of AAE that serves as a global platform showcasing cutting-edge technologies and rehabilitation programmes that are not only of vital importance to people of determination, but are also of key significance in terms of strengthening countries’ cooperation on the level of building a sustainable future catering to their aspirations. H.H. indicated that the “Living Independently” initiative organized by the Union of Arab Chambers in cooperation with the League of Arab States and UNIDO Investment and Technology Promotion Office in Bahrain, in the Expo represents a qualitative addition to this event in terms of availing the opportunity to learn about the capabilities of Arab innovators and how to direct their innovations to serve millions of people of determination in the countries of the region, and qualify them to be part of the business and projects ecosystem that supports their quest towards more self-reliance as successful business owners.
His Excellency Ahmed Aboul Gheit, Secretary General of the League of Arab States, expressed his happiness to participate in this important Arab international event, which represents a qualificative start to the benefit of persons with disabilities not only in the Arab states, but also across the whole world. H.E. thanked His Highness Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al Maktoum for his continual patronage of this important international event during which there will be the launch of the “Living Independently” initiative that represents a significant additional step in the framework of the League of Arab States mandate and efforts to support the implementation of the International Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities.
In this respect, H.E. Aboul Gheit commended the close cooperation with the Union of Arab Chambers and its initiative, as a representative of the private sector, to promote independent decent living for this important segment, through technological programmes and distinctive entrepreneurship projects targeting all types of disabilities.
H.E. Secretary General expressed that the “Living Independently” initiative forms an important pillar of his initiative that aims to prepare the Second Arab Decade of Disabled Persons (2023-2032), which serves this important segment in the various social, economic and legal fields, consolidating its rights and actively supporting efforts aimed at its full integration in society, as well as the implementation of relevant Arab and international conventions and treaties.
The “Living Independently” Initiative
The General Secretariat of the Union of Arab Chambers had launched, with the support of the Arab League of States and in cooperation with UNIDO Bahrain the Living Independently Initiative, and signed on March 30th a joint cooperation agreement with the management of the AAE, in the presence of His Highness Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed and His Excellency Ahmed Aboul Gheit, with the aim to showcase the innovations of Arab entrepreneurs during the exhibition with a view to support the technologies that serve people of determination.
The initiative aims to encourage Arab innovators and entrepreneurs to manufacture advanced systems, programmes and technologies to serve persons with disabilities in the context of a competition that is subjected to high standards, according to which the technology most appropriate to the needs of people of determination is selected and the necessary funding is solicited.
Sharing minds and opportunities to serve people of determination
Ghassan Suleiman Amhaz, Managing Director of the Expo, said: “We are proud of the event’s achievements on the level of providing cutting-edge technologies to the 50 million people of determination in the Middle East, and we thank the government entities and private companies that contribute, through the Expo, to providing a better life for this dear segment of our society and helping to empower them at all levels.”
“The sharing of minds and opportunities to serve people of determination is part of the vision of this event that reflects the exceptional attention provided by the UAE and other countries in the region to provide a decent living for this dear segment of our society; hence enabling them to live independently, while also working to attract cutting-edge technologies that play a crucial role in making their lives better,” he added.
Innovative products to serve all types of disabilities
From November 15-17, Dubai will witness the launch of the widest and most impressive display of innovative assistive technology products and rehabilitation services, through the 4th edition of AAE-2022, which will focus on ensuring access to products and services that enhance the capacities of people of determination.
The largest of its kind in the Middle East, North Africa and the Indian sub-continent region, the Expo will turn into the largest platform for manufacturers and distributors of assistive products, as well as government authorities, rehabilitation centres, and health and educational centres dealing with people of determination. The event, which will be held at Halls 5, 6 and 7 of the Dubai World Trade Centre, represents the ideal solution to meet the aspirations and expectations of more than 50 million people of determination living in the Middle East and North Africa.
Event organisers, Nadd Al Shiba PR & Event Management, expect the number of participating government and private sector companies and centres to rise to 250 exhibitors from 50 countries, and to attract more than 10,000 professional visitors from different countries of the world.
4,500 Global Technologies
The over 4,500 global advanced technologies on display – serving motor, visual, hearing, intellectual and autism disabilities – play a crucial role in empowering people with special needs, who constitute between 10-15% of the population of a given country. The World Health Organization (WHO) estimates the number of this segment at present at about one billion people around the world; the number is expected to jump to 2 billion people by 2050 as a result of ageing, wars, ill health, poverty, lack of services and other reasons.