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Dubai ~ Simply Accessible!
Thursday, 17th April 2008
Source : Dubai Department of Tourism and Commerce Marketing
Although special needs tourism is grossly under-developed in many leading destinations, Dubai is set to become a market leader through a series of initiatives made possible by a heightened awareness and effective partnership between the Dubai Department of Tourism and Commerce Marketing (DTCM) and the public and private sector organizations.

Dubai is fast developing itself as a destination and is accessible to Special Needs visitors with its eyes set on an estimated market of 600 million tourists worldwide.

Dubai 's hotels, travel agencies, airlines, airports, shopping malls and different modes of public transport are increasingly gearing themselves to become disabled-friendly for moral, ethical as well as financial reasons. A series of measures are being adopted and upgraded to welcome more special needs tourists into the emirate.

The Dubai chapter of the SKAL that was launched with the support of the DTCM held meetings to review the facilities that are being made available to the physically challenged and senior citizens in Dubai .

Dubai 's share of the special needs tourism market is estimated at one per of the approximately one per cent of the six million tourist worldwide and if they stay for an average of five days every year and spend $ 100 daily, the emirates total tourism revenue will be boosted by $ 3 billion every year.

In line with the department's interest in catering to the special needs visitors market, the first edition of Special Needs brochure was released last year for the wheel chair-bound physically challenged informing them about Dubai's accessible tourism services and facilities.

The handy guide informs readers about the services available at Dubai Airport , car/transport services, hotels, heritage sites, tours, cinemas, parks and shopping centres among others.

The brochure which is published electronically on the DTCM web site also provides helpful tips to the physically challenged on obtaining a driving license, special equipments and hospital and medical facilities.

In addition it features the new Dubai map and a visitor response survey which would be used to refine future editions based on feedback.

The DTCM also has in place a Special Needs Tourism Task Force that works round the year to understand the sensitivities related to special needs tourism and constantly works towards achieving those goals.

At the Dubai International Airport there is a dedicated desk for visitors with special needs and the airport has made available several electric carts to transport passengers to and from the new concourse.
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