Dubai – MENA Herald: The General Secretariat of the Executive Council of Dubai has organized its second Majlis discussion during the second edition of the Ramadan Majlis. This falls under the umbrella of the Dubai Plan 2021, which aims to strengthen communication channels with various segments of society and encourage their involvement in achieving the objectives of the plan to rank first globally by 2021 in various fields.

The Majlis, which was hosted by H.E Salem Ahmad Almoosa, Founder, Chairman & CEO of Salem Ahmad Almoosa Enterprises, featured the participation of both H.E. Abdullah Abdul Rahman Al Shaibani, Secretary General of the Executive Council, H.E. Khaled Al Kamda, Director General of the Community Development Authority, H.E. Hamad Ahmed Al Rahomi, Member of the Federal National Council, and Mr. Mohammed Abdul Rahim Al Fahim
CEO of Paris Gallery Group of Companies, as well as Mr. Abdul Qader Al Hamed Human Resources Business Partner at Commercial Bank of Dubai. Also in attendance were a number of persons with disabilities, including Mr. Mohammad Abdullah Arhama with motor disabilities teacher in Ras Al Khaimah Centre for People with Disabilities, Mr. Abdullah bin Dhahir who is visually impaired and works for the consultancy Pricewaterhouse Cooper, Mr. Khalfan bin Dhahir who is visually impaired and studies at Hamdan bin Mohammed Smart Univirsity, along with representatives from the General Secretariat of the Executive Council, and the media. The Majlis discussed ways to employ individuals with disabilities and achieve the objectives of the Dubai Disability Strategy 2020, which is a road map that will enhance the inclusion of persons with disabilities, and transform Dubai into a friendly city for people with disabilities by the year 2020. This supports the Dubai Plan 2021, which aims to cultivate more coherent and cohesive society that will adopt core values and enhance the fabric of Dubai’s community.

H.E. Abdullah Abdul Rahman Al Shaibani, Secretary General of the Executive Council, said: “Dedicating this Ramadan Majlis confirms the strategic priorities in the development of Dubai in the recruitment and integration of persons with disabilities as well as the promotion of their social and economic participation. The launch of “My Community… A City For Everyone” initiative in 2014 by His Highness Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Crown Prince of Dubai and Chairman of the Executive Council, in addition to the launch of Dubai Disability Strategy 2020 by His Highness Sheikh Mansour bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Chairman of the Higher Committee for the Protection of the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, which aims to identify a detailed roadmap in a comprehensive and integrated manner guides the transformation of Dubai to become a friendly city for persons with disabilities by the year 2020. This strategy features five main pillars that focuses on achieving an inclusive educational environment, inclusive healthcare services, an eligible urban environment, inclusive employment and providing an umbrella of social protection.”

Al Shaibani added: “Dubai has a vision and a legislative base and stimulating environment for all, including persons with disabilities, and working hard to harness and update all this potential and legislation to ensure employment and inclusion of disabled people into the business sector. This will help reinforce their independence and strengthen their self-reliance throughout their lives, which will help overcome any challenge that may impede their progress, thus distinguishing them for their abilities in order to participate in the growth of the emirate and establish a higher quality of life”

H.E. Khaled Al Kamda, Director General of the Community Development Authority, said: “We have come a long way in the move to employ persons with disabilities in the public and private sectors. The Government of Dubai has provided adequate programs to qualify individuals with disabilities and allow them to enter the labor market. Dubai is providing them a convenient working environment, which will help them overcome a lot of challenges in their lives.”

Al Kamda pointed out the need for specialized rehabilitation of units in order to be able to deal with persons with disabilities in the work environment so that no differentiation between them and the rest of the staff occurs. This will improve the conditions of life around them and help them be more comfortable in the society.

H.E. Salem Ahmad Almoosa, Founder, Chairman & General Manager of Salem Ahmad Almoosa Enterprises, said: “Dubai’s vision of enduring prosperity and peace is a vision for all members of the society. Individuals with disabilities also have the right to pursue their own dreams under this noble emirate’s innovative development agenda. Business leaders, decision-makers and stakeholders play a major role in supporting individuals with special needs in becoming productive and confident members of the society. SAAE continues its commitment towards offering favorable opportunities for all the employees working under the umbrella of our Enterprises, and we commend the tireless efforts of the General Secretariat of the Executive Council of Dubai for upholding the social aspects of Dubai Plan 2021, and we will always support hosting “Ramadan Majlis” effective discussions and all the relevant initiatives, which we consider as part of our corporate social responsibilities.”

Organizing this Majlis falls in line with active efforts to address the challenges that hinder the employment of persons with disabilities. Despite the ongoing efforts of the Dubai Government to encourage their inclusion in the labor market, a large number of them are still facing challenges that hampers their access to education. In addition, many of them lack the proper training that will allow them to fulfill various professional functions, or they do not have access to job opportunities which fit their abilities and potential. Thus, they are confined to certain roles without being able to exercise their right to decide and make a choice, and most also lack access to appropriate salaries equal to their non-disabled counterparts.

Accordingly, the discussion focused on the importance of giving persons with disabilities their full rights through the application of employment acquirer policies, and noting the capacities and appropriate rehabilitation and marginalization of the disabled in order to overcome it, and provide equal and fair opportunities in implementation of the directives of the wise leadership. In line with this, His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum UAE Vice President, Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai says, “The individual is the basic element in force, and it is normal to focus on him first.”

With regards to persons with disabilities which is associated with the culture in communities, Dubai Plan 2021 focuses on organizing a number of events to showcase their skills and capabilities which is comparable to those of other members of society. It also aims to emphasize the importance of dealing with them as vital part of the community by promoting a dynamic exchange of knowledge in the rights of persons with disabilities, and giving them the opportunity to participate in the drafting of resolutions and legislation to build a city that embraces all segments of society without discrimination.

At the end of the Majlis, the attendees suggested recommendations that focused on the importance of taking advantage of the capabilities of persons with disabilities where H.E. Hamad Ahmed Al Rahomi, Member of the Federal National Council, proposed that there should be federal legislation for the rehabilitation and employment of individuals with disabilities, including determining the minimum wage they receive. The attendees also raised the importance of the presence of specialized centers and programs that help persons with disabilities integrate into society as well as the existence of a database that classifies their capabilities so that there will be a dedicated entity responsible for building their capabilities and include them within the labour market. Another recommendation was the participation of the private sector and investors to contribute to the establishment and funding of specialized training rehabilitation centers at the educational organizations to prepare them for the labor market.

The Community Development Authority is working to lead the government team in the development of a general policy for the employment in the Emirate of Dubai in line with the implementation of the Dubai strategic requirements for disability for 2020. The insights gained from the most recent Ramadan Council will provide the team with strong input that will help create a more focused objectives and implement solutions that will address the issue of employment of persons with disabilities and ensure that their access to opportunities is equal to that of their peers.
These Majlis is the second edition a series of Ramadan Majalis series organized in line with the Dubai 2021, which aims to create a dialogue on issues that affect the lives of individuals and the welfare of the community. This framework also aims to promote joint action and dialogue in the development of a roadmap that supports the work of the concerned authorities within in the emirate to facilitate the implementation and achieve the aspirations of individuals, as everyone will be ghiven the chance to contribute and express their opinion, comments and suggestions.

The Ramadan Majalis falls in line with the efforts of the General Secretariat of the Executive Council to involve all stakeholders in government agencies, the private sector and civil society organizations and individuals to express their opinion on the key issues addressed by the Dubai Plan 2021. The Plan was launched by His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, UAE Vice President and Prime Minister; and Ruler of Dubai, in the presence of His Highness Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Crown Prince of Dubai and Chairman of the Executive Council in December 2014. This marked the beginning of a new phase of work in Dubai, and falls reflects the continuous march towards asserting leadership in various critical areas based on plans to ensure continuous success and sustainability according to the best standards.