Dubai is making a lot of changes by 2020. The city will host the World Expo that year, and to gear up for the international event, Dubai has been working on a state-of-the-art expo site called District 2020. Once the expo is over, it will be used as residential and commercial space.
It's not only District 2020 that's gearing up for the big event, though: the entire city is working on becoming more accessible for guests from around the world. One major step towards inclusion is Dubai's commitment to making public buildings and city facilities friendly for people with disabilities by the time of the expo.
"We need to design and make our policies work for all regardless of their abilities," said Dr Salem Al Shafel, director of policies and programs - rights of people with disabilities (people of determination), at the general secretariat of the Executive Council of Dubai.
"Dubai's Executive Council is working to make public buildings and city facilities friendly for people with disabilities by 2020. Many new public spaces must fulfill a new emirate-wide, disabled-friendly code.
"At the same time, many older buildings are also retrofitted to fulfill the requirements of the code. The new rules are laid out in a 330-word booklet called the Dubai Universal Design Code. This includes all details from the thickness of handrails (30mm) to the minimum distance of accessible toilets in public buildings (150 meters)," he added.
The new initiative is just another major step for the UAE this year, as the country works to be more inclusive than ever.