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  • Dubai marks World Autism Awareness Day with significant progress in its journey to becoming a Certified Autism Destination™
  • Issam Kazim: ‘A key factor driving our rapid progress is the entire industry moving together in one cohesive direction'
  • Myron Pincomb: ‘Dubai's record-breaking pace reflects the strong community support and leadership from key partners'

Dubai, United Arab Emirates – 02 April 2024: In an update to mark World Autism Awareness Day on 2 April, it has been announced that Dubai is on record pace towards becoming a Certified Autism Destination™. Just over one year into the process, driven by Dubai Department of Economy and Tourism (DET), the city is firmly on track to becoming the first Certified Autism Destination™ in the Eastern Hemisphere.

As part of the accreditation process, DET, in collaboration with the International Board of Credentialing and Continuing Education Standards (IBCCES), renowned leaders in autism and sensory training and certification, has initiated comprehensive autism and sensory awareness training for its tourist-facing workforce. Offered via ‘Dubai Way', a world-class online training platform developed by Dubai College of Tourism (DCT), this training is tailored to enrich staff knowledge, deepen understanding, and refine communication strategies, all aimed at fostering a more inclusive and accommodating experience for People of Determination.

In addition to its Autism and Sensory Awareness course, DCT offers Inclusive Service training on the Dubai Way platform which is a self-paced online programme that teaches applicants how best to cater and communicate with People of Determination. The programme is delivered through a series of experiential training sessions, including real-life stories, interactions and videos. In just over a year, the city has achieved the following milestones:

  • More than 13,000 individuals have received autism and sensory awareness training via Dubai Way.
  • More than 350 hotels commenced the training and certification process, ensuring comfortable and inclusive stays for guests with autism and sensory sensitivities.
  • More than 30 locations have earned IBCCES certifications.

The significant progress made so far in the accreditation process underscores Dubai's unwavering dedication to inclusivity and accessibility for all residents and visitors, and is aligned with the goals of the Dubai Economic Agenda, D33, to further consolidate Dubai's position as one of the top three global cities for business and leisure.

His Excellency Issam Kazim, CEO of Dubai Corporation for Tourism and Commerce Marketing (DCTCM), said: “Dubai is committed to becoming an accessible and inclusive destination, and a key factor driving our rapid progress is the entire industry being aligned and moving together in one cohesive direction. The significant progress towards becoming a Certified Autism Destination™ is a testament to the efforts of all stakeholders and partners, and will help realise the aspiration of our visionary leadership to make Dubai the best city to visit, live and work in, as part of the ambitious D33 Agenda. The Dubai College of Tourism's Autism and Sensory Awareness course on the Dubai Way training platform underscores our commitment to ensuring that every visitor experiences the warmth and hospitality our city has to offer, including exceptional service levels delivered at every touchpoint by a tourist-facing workforce that has the expertise to assist People of Determination.”

Myron Pincomb, Board Chairman of IBCCES, said: “Typically, achieving Certified Autism Destination™ status would take a city three years and Dubai's record-breaking pace reflects the strong community support and leadership from its key partners. For us, this is just the beginning, and we're brimming with excitement for another year of teamwork, eager to see Dubai achieve Certified Autism Destination™ status by working closely together.”

DCT launched its Autism and Sensory Awareness training course within the Dubai Way training platform on World Autism Awareness Day in 2023. The training course ensures that staff take a knowledge assessment, are provided an autism overview, understand autism identification, common needs, autism perspectives, sensory awareness, and basic safety protocols. The course then goes on to explain the nuances of travelling with autism, attraction to water and animals, and specific lessons for each traveller interaction, including hotels, attractions, and transportation.

In pursuit of the overarching D33 Agenda goal to become the best city to visit, live and work in, Dubai is committed to enhancing the quality of life for People of Determination. Major attractions like Burj Khalifa, Dubai Mall and Jumeirah Beach have comprehensive accessibility measures for physical and hidden disabilities like dedicated spaces, ramps, elevators, provision of hearing loops and resizable menus. DET's Specialised Accessibility Guide on provides insights on how to navigate Dubai effortlessly, covering user-friendly airport facilities, Metro tips and accessible attractions. Attractions such as Dubai Aquarium, Dubai Ice Rink, The Green Planet, Motiongate, Woo-hoo, and Atlantis Aquaventure have successfully obtained Certified Autism Center™ (CAC) status, awarded by IBCCES. While key hotel groups like Emaar Hospitality and Atlantis have also demonstrated commitment through investing in workforce training to secure their CAC status. In December 2023, Dubai International Airport (DXB) became the first international airport to earn the Certified Autism Center™ (CAC) designation, awarded by IBCCES. This achievement supports Dubai's pursuit of becoming a Certified Autism Destination™.

In the hospitality sector, Dubai's hotels and establishments are also required by law to comply with a robust building access code with wheelchair-accessible entrances, designated parking spaces and dedicated bathrooms and guest rooms, contributing to the emirate's drive to become a Certified Autism Destination™.

Posted by : GoDubai Editorial Team
Viewed 9877 times
Posted on : Tuesday, April 2, 2024  
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