This page provides information about how people of determination (people with special needs) are protected and empowered through services and facilities in the areas of education, health, jobs and more.
The People of Determination Retreat was held in March 2019, as part of the nationwide efforts to mobilise resources in support of the people of determination (people with special needs). Several Sheikhs, ministers, national figures, people of determination and social specialists participated in the retreat sessions where 31 initiatives and programmes were approved to support the future of this segment of society and ensure their integration across various sectors.
The retreat outlined eight tenets to empower people of determination and facilitate their needs at all levels. They are:
In 2018, the UAE launched the first ‘Emirati sign language dictionary’, which seeks to develop and standardise the signs used by people of determination with hearing impairments across the UAE. The dictionary is available online, and it includes 5,000 words for teaching people with hearing difficulties and training sign language translators. The dictionary is in line with Vision 2021 and National Agenda which aim to maintain a cohesive society and promote an inclusive environment that integrates all segments of society.
As explained on the Abu Dhabi portal, the law defines a person with special needs as someone suffering from a temporary or permanent, full or partial deficiency or infirmity in his physical, sensory, mental, communication, educational or psychological abilities to an extent that limits his possibility of performing the ordinary requirements as people without special needs.
Discrimination is defined as any segregation, exclusion or restriction due to special needs leading to the damage or denial of recognition of any rights granted by the prevailing legislation in the country or its practice or enjoyment on an equal footing. This way, the UAE strives to empower and promote the social inclusion of all.
Social assistance for people of determination
According to Federal Law No. 2 of 2001, people of determination (citizens with special needs as known before) are entitled to receive monthly assistance subject to terms as per the existing laws.
Article 3 of the Federal Law No. (29) of 2006 provides: The UAE guarantees people of determination (people with special needs) the equality and non-discrimination between them and people without special needs in all legislations as well as economic and social development programmes and policies.
Ministry of Community Development has launched the Harmonization of Disabled Persons initiative to integrate them into the society. It issues the 'Atheer' card; holders of which are entitled to a variety of services and privileges in the areas of health and housing. They are exempt from fees on vehicle-related services and also get discount on mobile data package.
In Al Ain, the municipality provides mobile unit service. Through this service, the elderly and people of determination can request for a customer service representative to visit them at their premises and process their service requests.
Community Development Authority in Dubai issues Sanad card to Emiratis and expatriate residents of determination. Holders of the Sanad card are entitled to special services and privileges.
For more information about rehabilitation for people of determination, refer to below links:
Rehabilitation and support centres and programmes in Abu Dhabi:
Transport and parking facilities for people of determination
Most public buses are designed to be accessible for people of determination (people with special needs).
Taxis for people of determination can be booked in most emirates.
Abu Dhabi Government offers 50 percent discount on taxi fare for UAE nationals of determination. It also offers free Ojra passes which allow them free lifetime travel on all public buses serving Abu Dhabi island. You can call 600-535-353 to book a taxi in Abu Dhabi.
You can book a taxi in Dubai by calling 04-2080808. Starting fare of this service varies according to the location and time. When the service is ordered from the airport, the starting fare is AED 25. In other parts of the city, the starting fare is AED 6 in the morning, noon and evening; and AED 7 after 10 pm.
People of determination can enjoy certain facilities with regard to training in driving, registering their car and parking. Some of these facilities are:
Special driving training courses designed to meet their special needs
A 50 per cent reduction of driving licence fees in Dubai
Special parking permit for using parking areas free of charge
Reserved space for parking
Disabled card issued by the Ministry of Social Affairs or local transport authorities, which include entitlements such free registration, free toll (salik) cards etc.
This way, the UAE aims to provide access to safe, affordable, accessible and sustainable transport systems for all with special attention to the needs of those in vulnerable situations, women, children, persons with disabilities and older persons.
For more information, contact the local transport authorities: