Saturday 30, January 2016

Dubai – MENA Herald: The Department of Economic in Dubai (DED) has announced new standards in the Dubai Service Excellence Scheme (DSES) to evaluate participating outlets on the basis of their disabled-friendliness. The new standards have been introduced as part of DED’s strategy to support the ‘My Community…A City for Everyone’ initiative of His Highness Sheikh Hamdan Bin Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Crown Prince and Chairman of the Executive Council of Dubai, which aims to transform Dubai into completely disabled-friendly by 2020.

DED also plans to introduce disabled-friendliness as a criterion for the Dubai Quality Award (DQA) and Dubai Human Development Award (DHDA), which are also part of its annual Business Excellence Awards along with DSES, in the next stage. The new DSES standards introduced include extent of space provided for persons with disabilities, readiness of cashiers to serve the disabled, and initiatives meant to help them.

Mohammed Bushanain, Executive Director of the Business Excellence Centre in DED, said: “We are keen to encourage people with disabilities and to create an ideal environment for them because they are an integral part of our community. We are committed to giving them adequate opportunity to identify their potential and easy access to all necessary services.”

Bushanain said mystery shoppers in the DSES programme are now trained to evaluate participating outlets for their disabled-friendliness based on: shop design and provision of facilities for receiving customers with disabilities; design of the cash counter and allocation of a special counter for the disabled; initiatives and special services for the disabled according to the nature of the business and whether such facilities are duly advertised to raise public awareness.

“We are trying to develop and upgrade services for the disabled to such levels compatible with Dubai’s reputation as a global business hub. We call on everyone to compete among themselves to promote the new standards and services being provided to the various segments of the society. It would bring best practices to the retail and services sectors in Dubai and the UAE in general, which are already witnessing rapid and sustained growth, and help reinforce Dubai’s reputation as a preferred place to do business,” added Bushanain.

Sheikha Ahmad Al Bishri, Director the Business Excellence Centre, said the new standards will add further value to the experience of shopping and improve quality of retailing in Dubai.

“The Dubai Service Excellence Scheme is a unique initiative in the region to win customer confidence and make the purchase process in Dubai a pleasant experience for buyers. The programme seeks to strengthen Dubai’s leadership in retailing through a commitment from participating retailers to uphold ethical practices. The disabled-friendliness standards will also enhance the capabilities of organisation sin determining their responsibilities in providing improved service quality,” added Al Bishri.

To participate in DSES, the retail outlet should demonstrate at least 75% compliance with the membership standards. The programme involves a range of evaluation criteria, which are assessed regularly through a confidential process. Al Bishri said the business sector is a strategic partner in the Business Excellence Awards, aimed to encourage companies and organisations to keep moving in their quest for excellence and achieve optimal performance, improved productivity, continuous improvement and sustainability.