Nad Al Sheba Sports Complex hosted a friendly basketball match between UAE National Wheelchair Basketball Team and Higher Committee for Protection of the Rights of People with Disabilities Team. The match was held under the slogan ‘Together We Integrate’ and in line within the ‘My Community A City for Everyone’ initiative that aspires to make Dubai a friendly city for people with disabilities.
The initiative acquired patronage and support of Dubai Crown Prince and Chairman of Dubai Executive Council HH Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum. Sheikh Hamdan led the UAE National Wheelchair Basketball Team and his brother, Sheikh Mansoor bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum led the Higher Committee for Protection of the Rights of People with Disabilities Team, Chairman of the Higher Committee for Protection of the Rights of People with Disabilities Team. The generous gesture reflects Dubai Government’s unlimited support for this segment of the community.
This match is the first of series of events organized by the General Secretariat of Dubai Executive Council in coordination with the Higher Committee for Protection of the Rights of People with Disabilities to increase awareness about the initiative that was launched late last year with directives from Dubai Crown Prince.
Sheikh Hamdan affirmed, “The United Arab Emirates keenness to support people with disabilities initiates from a solid commitment to provide quality life for all segments of the community. He indicated that the government is working to provide all requirements to positively engage this segment in the society and enabling them to fully participate in the development and future of the nation.”
Sheikh Hamdan, said, “When the community stands up to its responsibilities, the individuals’ capabilities reaches its peak and they can achieve miracles. We hope ‘My Community A City for Everyone’ initiative will help in achieving that. We are very happy with this match; it is an experiment through which we tried to shade light on our efforts to remove obstacles and overcome any barriers hindering the unleashing of such great potentials.”
The Crown Prince called everybody to cooperate in recognizing the objectives of this noble target. He said, “We are equal and enabling all segments of society is a goal which receives our utmost attention until everybody is turned into a positive and productive force; we are keen to give equal opportunities for all and we want all members of society to be positive partners in the development process. Today, members of our National Wheelchair Basketball Team trained us to use the wheelchairs, pass the ball and score.”
The match witnessed hard competition between Sheikh Hamdan’s team and Sheikh Mansoor’s team. In the second half, the teams were mixed and each team included players from UAE National Wheelchair Basketball Team and the Higher Committee for Protection of the Rights of People with Disabilities Team. By the end of the match, Sheikh Hamdan greeted both teams and thanked the players of UAE National Wheelchair BasketballTeam. He praised the players’ skills and spirit calling them to keep success in their minds when representing the United Arab Emirates in the international events as they are partners in responsibility toward the country and the nation. Sheikh Hamdan also asked the team to set example for their pairs and prove ability to conquest disability and challenges.
HH Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum stressed on the importance of increasing awareness about the abilities and potentials of people with disabilities. He said, “The challenge our Dubai Government Team faced today is only a glimpse of what our brothers and sisters with disabilities have to deal with everyday. They are not different from us except that they need different approach to unleash their outstanding potentials. What they achieve everyday inspires me. They are true role models in perseverance and determination.”
From his side, Sheikh Mansoor bin Mohammed bin Rashid al Maktoum indicated the importance of real community partnership to enable and empower people with disabilities and give them the opportunity to prove themselves as active members of the community. He added, “It is our duty to provide people with disabilities a full opportunity to employ the talents and capabilities God graced them with in what is useful to them and to their community. We are confident that our obligation as a community will ensure better life for our brothers and sisters with disabilities.”
Sheikh Mansoor touched on Dubai’s endeavors to legislate a law to protect people with disabilities in Dubai from discrimination, abuse, negligence or exploitation. He asserted that the anticipated law is the result of direct support from His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, UAE Vice President and Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai, and Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Crown Prince of Dubai and in coordination with Dubai’s Community Development authority.
Sheikh Mansoor concluded, “converting Dubai into a friendly city for people with disabilities can only be achieved by cooperation between the public and private sectors in addition to all aspects of the community. We should all come to a common understanding that a person with disability must not feel different even if that require fundamental changes in our laws, regulations and daily practices.”
Meanwhile, Sheikh Mansoor signed the ‘My community A City for Everyone’ pledge, affirming Dubai’s commitment to protect, integrate and enable people with disabilities.
Captain of UAE National Wheelchair Basketball Team Tariq Ali Abdullah expressed his happiness for the event. Tariq said, “On behalf of the team, I would like to thank the leadership represented in HH Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Crown Prince of Dubai and Chairman of Dubai Executive Council, and Sheikh Mansoor bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Chairman of the Higher Committee for Protection of the Rights of People with Disabilities for their generous gesture and for giving us the opportunity to prove our ability. Today’s match is a demonstration for our potential.”
Meanwhile, the audience praised the match and what it stands for. They affirmed that Sheikh Hamdan and Sheikh Mansoor participation in the match has successfully delivered an important message to educate the community, alert them to cooperate to enable people with disabilities and help them to overcome challenges to become active citizens and icons for creativity and success in all aspects of life.
Through ‘My Community A City for Everyone’ initiative, Dubai is aspired to backing up the efforts to empower people with disabilities within an overarching framework that contributes to enhancing the effectiveness of existing projects and initiatives and in line with the international Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities which the UAE joined in 2008. The initiative sets crucial foundation to affirm UAE commitment to the articles of the international convention.
Launched in November 2013 under patronage of Dubai Crown Prince and Chairman of Dubai Executive Council HH Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, the initiative aims to support Dubai’s current efforts to empower people with disabilities within an overarching framework that contributes to enhancing the effectiveness of existing projects and initiatives, and developing more initiatives of such sort in accordance with a vision that aims to maximise the participation and integration of this segment in the community, and to create new opportunities through which to overcome all the obstacles that may stand in the way of positively engaging and integrating this segment in their social environment as individuals who possess productive and creative capabilities.
The committee is under chairship of Sheikh Mansoor bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum and membership of nine director generals from various Dubai Government’s departments and a member representing the people with disabilities. Pursuant to the law, the committee works to facilitate and confront any challenges hindering the efforts to convert Dubai into a city friendly to people with disabilities.