Dubai team studies disability-friendly design

A joint team tasked with Dubai’s project to transform into a disability-friendly city has met with government agencies in the emirate to chart out a design plan for revamp and future development works.

The group, The Accessible Environment for Persons with Disability Project, made presentations during these visits.

Gaps identified through sample tests were also discussed during these meetings.

Yousef Al Rida, CEO of Roads and Transport Authority’s (RTA) corporate administrative support services sector is the head of the joint team overseeing the programme.

Al Rida said the team has visited Dubai’s government bodies such as the RTA, the Community Development Authority, the Knowledge and Human Development Authority, Dubai Municipality, and Tarakhees at the city’s free zones.

He continued: “The [team] discussed the project plan, gaps identified [so far], and the standards of the comprehensive design of future services and buildings befitting disabled persons.

“Visits included a presentation [to train] engineers nominated by those government entities in order to acquaint them with the standards of a comprehensive design, and step up their capabilities to implement these standards in future.

“Two project workshops were held highlighting the method of designing public facilities and transit means customised to serve the disabled persons,” Al Rida added, according to Dubai Media Office.

This April, it was announced that all new buildings and facilities in Dubai – including offices, residential towers, schools, stadiums, and parks – will be constructed to comply with disability-friendly standards.

Ottawa-based Gates Foundation is responsible for implementing the project that will last over the course of eight months and will include studying, evaluating and rehabilitating standard facilities as per the Universal Design Standards, as well as developing a final form for the design criteria as per Dubai’s requirements.

Phased schedules have been created for the plan’s implementation, with pilot projects due to be delivered following rigorous analyses of regulations and introduction of training programmes.

The project is a joint venture between the General Secretariat of the Executive Council, RTA, the Community Development Authority, and Dubai Municipality, in addition to a number of real estate developers.