Dubai to host accessibility summit in January


Dubai will host the 4th edition of Accessible Travel and Tourism International Conference in January.
Top representatives from international organisations, decision-makers and experts from the government and private sectors will participate in the summit, on January 11 and 12, to shed light on the needs and expectations of millions of tourists with disabilities who travel annually with regards to infrastructure, land transportation, air travel, tourism, entertainment facilities, shopping centres and other facilities and discuss effective strategies to meet these requirements.
The conference, at JW Marriott Marquis Hotel, Dubai, will be held under the patronage of Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al Maktoum , President of the Dubai Civil Aviation Authority, Chairman of Dubai Airports, Chairman and Chief Executive of Emirates Airline and Group.
"As part of our efforts to achieve the government’s vision and goal of making the UAE the most preferred and friendliest tourist destination for People of Determination, I am pleased to announce the conference," Sheikh Ahmed said.  
"The conference has achieved overwhelming success levels in its 3rd edition, and I look forward to it getting your continuous support and participation. This global gathering will undoubtedly contribute towards achieving our vision of making the UAE, with Dubai in the lead, the best tourist destination in the world for People of Determination," he said.
"We will continue our unfettered support of the national economy by attracting a large segment of tourists with disabilities, accounting for 10% of the total global tourists – an estimated 120 million, who deserve to enjoy their lives and travel the world freely, with appropriate facilities and infrastructure," Sheikh Ahmed added.
Accessible Tourism has remained a work in progress to ensure every tourist destination, product and service becomes accessible to everyone, regardless of physical limitations, disabilities or age. Making tourism more accessible is not only a social responsibility – the improved accessibility boosts competitiveness and impacts profits as well. 
The Conference has been helping the stakeholders discover how improving accessibility improves the travel and tourism businesses that witness intense competition, and how cities can remain socially responsible and sustainable destinations. The travel and tourism industry has been swiftly shifting to innovate and provide services that offer more inclusive opportunities for tourists with disabilities.
Accessible tourism in the future is going to be much more than a range of support to the long-excluded target groups – it is going to become a set of ground rules and codes of practice that will contribute to the overall inclusive tourism development.
It will be a win-win for all.
Dubai’s Universal Design Code defines how buildings and transportation systems have to be designed, constructed and managed keeping them in mind. This came ahead of it hosting the first-ever World Expo in the MENASA region. After Dubai rolled out its $8.7 trillion economic plans until 2033 to be one of the world’s Top 3 economic cities, accessibility is going to continue its focus for enhancement and improvement.
An estimated 1.3 billion people experience significant disability, representing 16 per cent of the world’s population or one in six of us. This updated figure by the World Health Organization (WHO) brings under the spotlight accessibility challenges they face when travelling and exploring tourism hotspots and the untapped growth opportunities in the travel and tourism market projected to surpass the $8.9 trillion mark by 2026. Home to over 50 million People with Disabilities, the Middle East is one of the regions where accessible travel and tourism hold immense growth potential but is vastly untapped and undebated. - TradeArabia News Service