Emirates Organizes Autism-Friendly Flight Experience for Neurodiverse Children in Dubai

By Ivan PetrenkoApr 29, 2024 05:30 AMNews
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Emirates plane flying in the sky
Emirates plane flying in the sky. Source: unsplash

On April 24, Emirates took a significant step in promoting accessible travel and raising autism awareness by hosting a unique event at Terminal 3 of Dubai International Airport (DXB). The airline invited 30 families with neurodiverse children to participate in a real check-in experience and a familiarization flight. This initiative aimed to alleviate travel anxieties for these children and offered Emirates the opportunity to collaborate with key partners to enhance accessible travel practices.

Emirates welcomed 30 neurodiverse children aged 8-12 from Dubai Autism Centre, Safe Centre for Autism, Rashid Centre for People of Determination, and the New England Centre Children Clinic, along with their caregivers. Among them was a neurodiverse child with Angelman Syndrome, a condition characterized by developmental delays, speech difficulties, and other challenges. The children had the chance to experience a full flight, from check-in to boarding, including in-flight services, announcements, and the sensations of take-off and landing.

The familiarization flight departed from DXB at 11:20 am and returned at 12:20 pm, providing a real-life flying experience for the children. Emirates used the Autism Friendly Route through Dubai International Airport, which offers priority lanes for check-in, passport control, security, and boarding, with specially trained staff on hand to provide support. The initiative's success highlights Emirates' commitment to making travel more inclusive and accessible for all, reflecting Dubai's broader commitment to supporting People of Determination.

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