Dubai takes the initiative again to bring Accessible Tourism back to the fore

Dubai Accessible Tourism International Summit (DATIS) to highlight the mobility and access needs of over one billion people

Sheikh Ahmed: The UAE is amongst the best and safest destinations in the world for tourism and living. Joint international action will help enhance the availability of accessible tourism for all.

Helal Al Marri: Collaborative efforts across the public and private sectors have prioritised the welfare of People of Determination, ensuring the provision of facilities and services that support their needs and enable them to enjoy the city’s diverse range of offerings and attractions.

DATIS to discuss Covid-19’s negative effects on the global tourism, lessons learned and precautionary steps by airports, airlines, hotels and other facilities to accelerate tourism recovery

WHO: Two billion people by 2050 will need Assistive devices

Tourism services designed without looking into access requirements


Dubai, December 15, 2021: The Dubai Accessible Tourism International Summit (DATIS) that works towards facilitating better tourism facilities for the
People of Determination will hold its second session under the patronage of His Highness Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al Maktoum, President of the Dubai Civil
Aviation Authority, Chairman of Dubai Airports and Chairman and Chief Executive of Emirates Airline and Group, on Wednesday, January 12, 2022, at the J W Marriott Marquis Hotel.

The DATIS-2022, supported by Dubai’s Department of Economy and Tourism (DET), is to be held under the title, Tourism for All, to shed light on the challenges faced by about one billion people who needs a variety of assistance as per the World Health Organization (WHO). As residents, visitors or tourists
in cities across the world, their requirements need to be strengthened through legislation, laws, infrastructure and services that meet their aspirations and fulfil their rights to discover the world comfortably.

The Summit comes as the travel and tourism sectors gradually return after the catastrophic impact due to the Covid-19 pandemic across the world. It will discuss the challenges facing the tourism industry at present and the lessons learned from the crisis, especially in terms of tourists with disabilities.  Dubai has taken the initiative to return the accessible tourism to its former self as it has been one among the first destinations that successfully opened to international tourists, months before hosting the Expo 2020 Dubai from October for six months, as part of its vision to become one of the most preferred destinations for tourists with disabilities.

His Highness Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed said:The UAE has placed the comfort and care of People of Determination as a core pillar of its community’s wellbeing. In line with the vision of our leadership to be amongst the friendliest countries in the world for People of Determination, we are pleased to host the second edition of DATIS, to showcase how we have made our cities more accessible and enjoyable for millions of tourists with disabilities from around the world. The Summit will give us a chance to meet like-minded leaders and experts from across the globe to share our insights, experiences and best practices and also help us further improve our cities and tourist facilities, including hotels, resorts, airports, transport services, shopping malls, beaches, parks and museums, to serve the requirements of tourists with disabilities from around the world and ensure they get the best possible services and experience in our country.”

He added: “Thanks to the UAE’s visionary leadership and the support of the private sector, we have moved quickly to mitigate the effects of the pandemic and return to our normal lives, which is evident in the tourism boom Dubai is experiencing with the launch of Expo 2020 Dubai. We will continue to lead global efforts towards facilitating Accessible Tourism and collaborate with international partners to adopt more innovative and smart solutions that will enable all the citizens of the world to travel freely and live a life without barriers.”

His Excellency Helal Saeed AlMarri, Director General of Dubai’s Department of Economy and Tourism (DET), said: “Driven by the vision and leadership of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of UAE and Ruler of Dubai, the city has delivered on its promise to enhance the lives of People of Determination, further underlining the city’s journey towards becoming the most preferred destination to visit, work and live in. Collaborative efforts across the public and private sectors have prioritised the welfare of People of Determination, ensuring the provision of facilities and services that support their needs and enable them to enjoy the city’s diverse range of offerings and attractions, and participate in its year-round calendar of events and festivals. The emirate is also committed to hosting global business events, such as the Dubai Accessible Tourism International Summit, that can contribute to the wider sector’s continued development and provide a platform for the sharing of knowledge and best practices.”

The Summit will shed light on the requirements of tourist with disabilities during their travel and movement from one place to another and the work in progress to make the touristic places and facilities accessible to them like the hotels, resorts, airports, transportation services, shopping centres, beaches, public parks and museums. Dubai is moving at a steady pace to achieving its vision of becoming the friendliest
destination for People of Determination, with the authorities working towards achieving the goal by implementing relevant legislation and adopting smart solutions to provide the best services for this segment of tourists as Dubai targets 25 million tourists by 2025.

According to the WHO, between 10 to 15 per cent of the world’s population needs assistance and the number of people who need assistive devices, ranging from wheelchairs to communication technologies, will double to two billion by 2050 as a result of ageing, health issues and other socio-economic factors. About 50 million people with Special Needs in the Middle East look forward to visiting cities and tourist destinations that provide them with appropriate services that meet their needs.

Organized by Nadd Al Sheba Public Relations and Event Management, an impressive line-up of senior officials and international experts from the public and private sectors will participate in the Summit, to share the experiences of their countries and their success in dealing with the pandemic and its challenges, especially for People of Determination, and lessons that helps make accessible tourism part of their priorities.

Speakers will discuss ‘friendly’ infrastructure, facilities and services in sectors like hospitality, transportation, health, insurance and communication.  The UN World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) had called upon countries to ensure access to tourists with special requirements, which would enable destinations wishing to change the rules of the game to recover faster from the effects of the pandemic through attracting this large segment of tourists. The WTO said: “Tourism environments and services are often designed without taking into account different access requirements. The thinking must be changed so that the tourism sector prioritizes accessibility to facilitate travel for People of Determination, which constitutes an exceptional opportunity to stimulate tourism and create new job opportunities.”