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Emirates NBD Convenes Discussion On Making Dubai A Disability Friendly City By 2020
(4 October 2017)

 

Emirates NBD, one of the leading banking groups in the region, today hosted a community discussion on how the country’s public and private sectors can come together in making Dubai a disability friendly city by 2020, in line with the #MyCommunity vision of His Highness Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed Al Maktoum, Crown Prince of Dubai and Chairman of Executive Council of Dubai.

Organised by the bank’s flagship advocacy platform #TogetherLimitless and moderated by Ahmed bin Shabib, Urbanist and co-founder of Brownbook and Cultural Engineering, the town hall at Jumeirah Emirates Towers brought together policy makers and corporate executives from the Executive Council of Dubai, Road and Transports Authority (RTA), Expo 2020 as well as Emirates NBD, and focused on sustainable solutions and the required attitude to make Dubai’s infrastructure and tourism sector prepared, ahead of Expo 2020, to welcome everyone who arrives to the city.  

Badriya Mohammed Hassan Al-Ali – Senior Consultant – Policies and Programs, Rights of People with Disabilities (People of Determination), Strategy Management and Governance Sector - The General Secretariat of the Executive Council of Dubai, said” “People with disabilities (people of determination) are given special attention and care by our wise leaders and by law are guaranteed all their rights at the federal and private level. The Dubai Disability Strategy is designed to frame these rights and confirm the participation of various stakeholders in making them accessible. This include the rights to healthcare, social care, education, employment, as well as the rehabilitation of facilities to transform Dubai into a disability-friendly city by 2020. The launch of the Dubai Environment Code (DED) for all construction standards and specifications is a significant step towards realizing the vision of the strategy. We are beginning to transform the city, and I would like to thank to all institutions those who are working to change their facilities to be disability-friendly, especially Emirates NBD, which has transformed a number of its branches to provide a better banking experience for people with disabilities (people of determination), allowing them to complete their transactions independently.”

Suvo Sarkar, Senior EVP & Group Head – Retail Banking and Wealth Management at Emirates NBD commented: “As a resident of Dubai, the goal of making my city a disability-friendly and inclusive community is very important for me. Over the past few years, our bank has worked tirelessly to further the rights of people of determination in the UAE, from transforming our branches to be disability-friendly, to offering specialized banking services that support financial inclusion. Ahead of 2020, we need to speed up our transformation and show the world that we are ready to cater to everyone. Dubai is a city of possibilities, and with the commitment of all stakeholders involved, we can truly achieve His Highness Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed Al Maktoum, Crown Prince of Dubai’s vision and serve as an inspiration for countries across the region.”

Moderator Ahmed bin Shabib, Urbanist and co-founder of Brownbook and Cultural Engineering added: “A strong and open society promotes accessibility and inclusion to all its members. It strives by engaging the entire community, including persons with disability.”

Ahmed Al Khatib, Vice President, Real Estate & Delivery, Expo 2020 Dubai said: "Expo 2020 Dubai will be a global destination where people can come to experience creativity, innovation and collaboration. In line with His Highness' vision, our site Master Plan lays a strong emphasis on ensuring that the Expo event is accessible, engaging, and enjoyable for all. Hosting the world at a truly inclusive Expo goes beyond our own site, and we will benefit from the investments being made by a wide range of entities to make Dubai an accessible city in time to welcome the world in 2020."

Also in attendance as panelists at the event were Dr. Salem Al Shafel, Director of Policies and Programs – Rights of People with Disabilities (People of Determination), The General Secretariat of the Executive Council of Dubai,  Ahmed Hassan Mahboub, Executive Director, Customer Services Department, Roads and Transports Authority and Muna Al Falahi - Senior Vice President Head of Business Support at Emirates NBD.

Since its inception in 2015, the bank’s flagship advocacy platform for people with disabilities (people of determination), #TogetherLimitless has undertaken several initiatives for disability mainstreaming including launching the Careers Network to facilitate workplace inclusion of people with cognitive disabilities, opening seventeen disability-friendly bank branches so far, promoting financial inclusion by offering Sanad card holders (privilege access card developed by CDA for people with disabilities) the Emirates NBD ‘Beyond from Personal Banking’ package, exempt of minimum salary  as well as publishing a research report on the banking and financial habits and attitudes of people with disabilities (people of determination) in the UAE. It also runs a long-term social investment programme, PRIDE (People Receiving Independence and Dignity through Empowerment), for people with cognitive disabilities that runs activities of educational inclusion, capacity building, and public awareness. The discussion today was the fourth in a series of informal community dialogues which addressed a specific need for people of disabilities (people of determination) within the UAE.

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