DA's new initiative for travellers with hidden disabilities
Dubai Airports is introducing a comprehensive new programme to ensure the delivery of a sector leading, inclusive, and seamless travel experience for all People of Determination (POD) with hidden disabilities that travel through Dubai International (DXB).
As part of Dubai Airport’s shared values ‘We all meet the world differently’, this new initiative will contribute to the UAE Vision 2021 and Dubai Plan 2021 vision for Dubai to be the world’s leading disability-friendly city and barrier-free community that empowers and welcomes all POD travellers. This new programme will roll out in two phases over two years and unite service partners across the DXB community to elevate the travel experience for passengers with hidden disabilities such as autism, chronic fatigue, and PTSD (post-traumatic stress disorder).
In an effort to integrate recognisable and accessible options for POD travellers, Dubai Airports will be introducing a travel planner for pre- travel preparation and an Autism Friendly Route, with a prioritised route through check-in, passport control, security check point and boarding, which can be availed when wearing the sunflower lanyard. Specially trained staff equipped to support POD travellers will be easily identifiable wearing sunflower pins, allowing for increased visibility, communication and support throughout the airport journey.
A comprehensive educational campaign to drive awareness around autism, specifically relating to socially acceptable language and empathy will be undertaken as part of the programme, complemented by the distribution of key training materials across all airport entities, ensuring that POD travellers are met with consistent support and a positive customer experience. Dubai Airports has been accredited by the Dubai Autism Centre as an Autism friendly environment .
The second phase of the roll-out will see additional, innovative solutions, including connected airports, quiet rooms, and an airport safari tour.
Majed Al Joker, COO of Dubai Airports said, “Dubai Airports is committed to promoting the inclusion and participation of People of Determination – who, as an integral part of our travelling customer base deserve the highest level of care and customer service. We are working to provide the essential services and amenities and are proud to be collaborating with the Dubai Autism Centre and the sector to drive awareness around hidden disabilities. This initiative is only the beginning of what we hope will be a transformative travel experience for all POD that travel through our airports.”
The initiative is part of Dubai Airports’ ongoing commitment to enhancing passenger safety and guest experience. The operator is working in close consultation with all partners and stakeholders to ensure implementation of resources, coordination of staffing and communication with customers is seamless and consistent.