Accessibility in Dubai: Travel tips for people of determination

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Accessibility in Dubai 20200102T135326 20200119T135536:637150389362258919 Travel Tools Dubai offers attractions and facilities catering to visitors of all abilities, including wheelchair users and those with sensory impairments, known as People of Determination in the UAE. Dubai offers attractions and facilities catering to visitors of all abilities

Dubai strives to welcome all visitors, including wheelchair users, those with sensory impairments and senior travellers. A national strategy and special advisory board was launched in 2017 to further empower services for people with disabilities, known as ‘people of determination’ across the UAE, including travellers and tourists. Follow our handy guide on accessibility in the city.

Dubai Airports

As the first point of contact for incoming tourists and travellers, Dubai Airports is committed to ensuring that everyone has access to their services and facilities. Dubai International (DXB) and Dubai World Central (DWC) cater to passengers with disabilities and reduced mobility. Some of the services available for special assistance passengers include dedicated check-in areas, complimentary parking for disabled drivers, prioritised drop-off points and wheelchair access. People of determination can also enjoy two dedicated lounges. The airport is also equipped with ambulifts for passengers who have difficulty navigating aircraft steps when flights land or depart a distance from the main concourse.

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Public Transport

Dubai Metro

For the visually impaired, there are tactile floors outside every metro station in the city. There are special spaces for wheelchair users, ticket booths with accessible heights and audio-visual cautionary signs for open and closing of platform doors. Additionally, the escalators at all stations are fitted with side hand rests that stretch along the rail for extra support, while non-slippery sliding paths connecting the car park to the station offer added safety.

Taxi Service

The People of Determination Taxi, which is a 'Special Wheel for a Special Need', is a taxi service provided by the city's Roads and Transport Authority (RTA) for tourists and residents with reduced mobility. Highly distinguishable by its size, red roof top and a universal special needs blue logo, these are highly equipped vehicles manned with well-trained drivers. They include special lifts for wheelchairs, artificial respiratory systems, seats for companions, and a wheelchair on board, if required. Offering safe transfer of people with special needs, this taxi is available at Dubai Airports 1, 2 & 3, and can be booked in advanced via a call to the Dispatch Centre.
To book a People of Determination Taxi, call +971 4 202 0808

Walking and parking

With dedicated parking spaces installed with relevant signs and elevators near footbridges, people of determination can get around the city with much more ease and safety. Additionally, sliding paths on either side of pedestrian crossings and junctions ensure that there is no height difference when crossing the roads, thus aiding wheelchair users.

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Leisure & Hospitality

A series of initiatives were launched by the government to help and empower people of determination, including training programmes aimed at creating a universally welcoming ambience across all touch points in the city. Launched by the Dubai College of Tourism, this service-training programme is designed to train tourist-facing hospitality employees to provide people of determination with superior customer service. It also highlights the role of empathy and the significance of serving guests with disabilities in the most sensitive manner.

Today, many hotels across the city – from IHG brands such as Crowne Plaza Dubai through to Amwaj Rotana Dubai - offer adapted rooms and facilities for guests with disabilities, and train their staff to answer queries and aid in travel arrangements, if required.

Several attractions across Dubai ensure easy accessibility. The Dubai Municipality has created special access to beaches via dedicated pathways, which are built through the sand so wheelchair users can reach the water with ease. These walkways are now at Al Mamzar Creek, Al Mamzar Corniche, Jumeirah 2 and 3 as well as at Umm Suqeim beach. Specially designed counters and dedicated counters are also available at the beaches for visitors with disabilities.

Public parks also have designated parking spaces, complimentary wheelchairs, and staff who are trained in sign language. There is also a comprehensive guide to the city’s public parks available in braille for the visually impaired, and disabled-access washrooms at most major attractions. People of determination benefit from free entry or discounted tickets at a number of key attractions across Dubai, including public parks, waterparks and theme parks.

Shopping malls are also accessible for tourists, with dedicated parking spots close to multiple entrances of malls to aid entry and exit. Wheelchairs are also available at these attractions - such as The Dubai Mall and Mall of the Emirates - for visitors who need them. 

For any queries, comments or suggestions, contact the Dubai Municipality Contact Centre.

Dubai has much to offer visitors of all abilities; check out our list of top things to do in the city, or venture to one of the many spectacular malls that allow you to shop to your heart's content.

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English Dubai Corporation of Tourism & Commerce Marketing

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