Published on: November 2019
Genre: UAE Public Policy Forum
Category: Social policy, Well-being and Happiness
The story of Dubai, as with any living city, continues to be written day by day. Equity, justice,
and access in the rapidly urbanizing city-state of Dubai shape the story of disability in Dubai,
starting with the founding of the first specialized school for children with disabilities in the
1980’s through 2014 when the city’s legal, institutional, physical, and social reforms led to the
passage of Dubai Law No. 2 on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, and the launch of the
Dubai Disability Strategy one year later.
Dubai serves as an ideal case study in understanding the public response to developing
and implementing mainstream disability rights programs and policies. This is not because
Dubai is a typical case, but because it counters dominant thinking in the areas of innovation,
governance, inclusion and urbanization. Urbanization provides opportunities for social
inclusion, equitable access to services and livelihoods, and engaging and mobilizing
vulnerable populations at risk of exclusion, particularly for the 25% of global population
experiencing daily barriers to their meaningful participation in cities.
This MBRSG Policy Council brought together key relevant partners to discuss the current
status of inclusion in Dubai and the UAE, and the ways to advance Dubai as an inclusive city.
The discussion was guided by international and local principles of inclusion and addressed
challenges and opportunities in different government sectors at the local and federal levels.