Dubai Airports and Dubai Autism Centre plant sunflowers to mark World Autism Day - GulfToday

Dubai Airports and Dubai Autism Centre plant sunflowers to mark World Autism Day


Volunteers plant sunflowers at the Dubai Autism Centre's gardens.

Gulf Today, Staff Reporter

Dubai Airports (DXB), operator of the world’s biggest airport for international travel, and Dubai Autism Centre (DAC) joined hands to mark World Autism Day with a special sunflower planting ceremony.

The event, held at DAC’s gardens, aimed to raise awareness about autism and highlight Dubai Airports ongoing efforts, together with its strategic partners, to create a smooth and accessible travel experience for all guests travelling through Dubai International (DXB).

This initiative also underscores their support for Dubai’s journey towards becoming an Autism-friendly destination.

Majed Al Joker, Chief Operating Officer of Dubai Airports, said: “We’re committed to creating an inclusive journey for every single guest, because we recognise that we all experience the world differently. Through dedicated routes, the ongoing development of new products and services, and our collaboration with Dubai Autism Centre, we’re actively working to shape a more accessible and welcoming airport experience for all”.

Al Joker added: “This initiative aligns with Dubai Airports’ dedication to supporting UAE Vision 2021 and Dubai Plan 2021, which aim to establish the Emirate as the world’s leading disability-friendly city.” DXB has implemented a range of initiatives for People of Determination with visible and non-visible disabilities.

These initiatives include a pre-travel planner and a dedicated accessible route through the airport.

This prioritised route facilitates a smoother journey through check-in, passport control, security checkpoint, and boarding for guests wearing the internationally recognised sunflower lanyard.

Mohammed Al Emadi, Director General of the Dubai Autism Centre, said: “We would like to thank Dubai Airports for joining our kids in a special sunflower planting event to mark World Autism Day. Planting sunflowers goes beyond raising awareness for autism; it’s a powerful symbol of our collective effort to build an inclusive community that embraces and empowers individuals with autism.” Participants in the event, including representatives from Dubai Police, Dubai Customs, the General Directorate of Residency & Foreigners Affairs (GDRFA), Dubai Corporation for Ambulance Services (DCAS), Emirates, flydubai, Saudia, dnata and Dubai Duty Free, planted sunflowers, reflecting a shared commitment to creating a more inclusive environment for individuals with autism and their families.

DXB was certified as Autism-friendly in November 2022 and is the first international airport to earn a certified Autism Centre (CAC) designation awarded by the International Board of Credentialing and Continuing Education Standards (IBCCES). Separately, Dr Layla Abdulaziz Al Hyas, Executive Director of the Community Development Sector at DCD, said: “The Department of Community Development, in cooperation with partners and stakeholders from various government, private, and third sector agencies, has developed a comprehensive and integrated road map through various initiatives within the framework of the Abu Dhabi Strategy for People of Determination. This aims to empower and better integrate people of determination and raise community awareness around them to build a perspective that supports their rights, creating a harmonious and cohesive society.” She added, “Today in Abu Dhabi, we have moved beyond merely raising awareness about autism to affirming and enhancing acceptance and appreciation of individuals with autism and their contributions to society.”

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