GAATES at the Forefront: Ensuring an Accessible Dubai for 2020
Americas, Built Environment, June 6 2016
The Global Alliance on Accessible Technologies and Environments (GAATES), a Canada organization has been selected to undertake an ambitious new project to ensure Dubai’s accessibility for persons with disabilities and older persons.
Senior officials of the Emirate of Dubai are committed to making buildings, facilities, roads and the transport infrastructure fully accessible for people with disabilities, especially by 2020, the year of Expo 2020. GAATES has been selected as the winners of an international competition to develop the Emirate’s Universal Accessibility Strategy and Action Plan, a comprehensive strategy encompassing the city’s built environment and mobility domains.
GAATES, an international not for profit organization has assembled an international team of experts to assist the Emirate of Dubai to create a fully inclusive and accessible society, free of barriers to persons with a range of disabilities.
The project will focus on two key areas: accessibility of the physical built environment, as well as mobility and transportation. GAATES will work with the Emirate to draft laws, standards and best practices that collectively support the achievement of universal accessibility in Dubai. The new legislation will be in compliance with the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (UNCRPD), that the Emirate ratified in 2010. There is strong political support by the Emirate of Dubai, managing organizations; the Community Development Authority (CDA) and the Roads and Transportation Authority (RTA), and from the disability community itself.
GAATES and its project partners have previous experience working in the Arab region, which has provided the team with a full understanding of the cultural nuances and specific geographical and climatic challenges in the Gulf. This unique level of experience enables the team to address challenges while successfully adding the disability perspective that fully respects the Arab world traditions.
This project will result in an accessible Dubai for all. Expo 2020 Connecting Minds, Creating the Future is dedicated to sub-themes Opportunity, Mobility and Sustainability and expects over 25 million visitors, many of whom will be persons with disabilities and older persons.