Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed, Crown Prince of Dubai, has approved a Dh70 million social support package for disabled citizens in the emirate.
The latest benefits scheme represents a 60 per cent increase in funding from last year, when Dh44 million was distributed to help people with disabilities.
The assistance will cover fees for kindergarten, school and university enrolment, training and rehabilitation at specialised institutions, and the costs of employing shadow teachers, caregivers, personal assistants and sign-language interpreters.
The project will also finance assistive devices and technologies, repair of vehicles, transportation and the costs of ensuring workplaces are equipped with facilities for people with disabilities, referred to as people of determination by the UAE government.
The investment is in line with the emirate's vision to “empower people of determination, make them productive members of the community and support them in contributing to the emirate’s development journey,” a Dubai Media Office statement said.
Hessa Buhumaid, Minister of State and director general of Dubai's Community Development Authority, said the additional funding would ensure social support reached a larger number of people and would bolster efforts to create a more inclusive society.
She underlined that rehabilitation support provided as part of the initiative would greatly benefit children with disabilities and reduces the financial burden faced by their families.
Sheikh Hamdan has long been a champion of people with disabilities.
He told of his delight at attending an iftar banquet last week with a group of “incredible children” on the autism spectrum.
Sheikh Hamdan stressed the UAE's determination to deliver the “best possible care and services” to people with disabilities after taking part in the Ramadan gathering.
He spent time with the young guests and their families during the reception held at Emirates Towers in Dubai on Wednesday, where he was joined by Ms Buhumaid.
“As part of ensuring the happiness of the community, Dubai’s leadership places high priority on ensuring the welfare of people of determination,” Sheikh Hamdan said.
“All people of determination deserve to receive the highest quality of services. I was delighted to participate in the iftar banquet and interact with the children and their families,” he said.
In March last year he visited the Dubai Autism Centre.
The non-profit centre was established in 2001.