People of Determination

Creating a truly inclusive society also means accepting people regardless of their circumstances or abilities. The UAE is committed to building a world without discrimination against people with intellectual disabilities—officially called People of Determination in recognition of their achievements in a variety of fields.  

The UAE signed the optional Protocol to the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities and passed Federal Law 29/2006 guaranteeing rights for people with special needs. Under the National Policy for Empowering People of Determination, the UAE government aims to create an inclusive society for them and their families, through services and facilities that accommodate their needs.

Special Education

The government of the UAE strongly supports education and learning services for students with special needs. The Dubai Community Development Authority offers tuition assistance to low-income families with children who have special learning needs. In 2018, the federal Ministry of Community Development opened seven academic centers to serve over 800 Students of Determination each year. The Ministry also provides a job recruitment platform so People of Determination can pursue fulfilling, challenging work after finishing their academic training.

Centers for People of Determination

Throughout the UAE, government and private organizations, centers and clubs provide training and rehabilitation to People of Determination. Key government centers include:

  • Sharjah City for Humanitarian Services (SCHS)

Zayed Higher Organization for People of Determination (ZHO) is an umbrella for all humanitarian bodies, social services, people of determination institutions and any future bodies established in Abu Dhabi for humanitarian goals.

  • Sharjah City for Humanitarian Services (SCHS)

Sharjah City for Humanitarian Services (SCHS) is an independent organization in the emirate of Sharjah aiming at serving people of determination in the UAE. Under the umbrella of the Supreme Council for Family Affairs in Sharjah, SCHS serves annually more than 3,000 people with determination from different nationalities and age groups.

Special Olympics Partnership

In March 2019, the UAE hosted the Special Olympics World Games in Abu Dhabi - the first ever World Games to be held in the Middle East and North Africa. Building on the legacy of the Games, the UAE announced its pledge to implement the Special Olympics Unified Champion Schools (UCS) program across all public schools in the country. And in 2020, His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan committed $25 million on behalf of the people of the UAE in order to expand the UCS program to six countries – Argentina, Egypt, India, Pakistan, Romania and Rwanda.

People of Determination with Al Otaiba