Emirates Today: Significant Breakthrough in Empowering People of Determination

With the launch of the Abu Dhabi Comprehensive Strategy for People of Determination 2020-2024, a significant breakthrough has been achieved in empowering people of determination in the UAE, adding to recently intensified efforts at the institutional level. This positive news was announced on Twitter by His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces (may God protect him), when he said: “Today’s launch of the Abu Dhabi Strategy for People of Determination reaffirms our commitment to inclusion, equality and empowerment for all members of UAE society, upholding everyone’s right to participate fully and with dignity in our community.”


The new strategy highlights integrated local and federal efforts to serve people of determination; expanding activities to provide the best possible opportunities. This includes developing experience in order to support people of determination, allowing for the exchange of ideas and the adoption of successful practices. The new strategy works in harmony with existing local and federal comprehensive plans, including the National Policy for Empowering People of Determination. Launched on April 18, 2017 by His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President of the UAE, Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai (may God protect him), the policy provides a comprehensive framework at the federal level.


Integration was central to the approach adopted in developing this latest strategy. Significant efforts from the Department of Community Development in Abu Dhabi brought together twenty-eight local and federal authorities, specifically those concerned with issues facing people of determination. The aim was to guarantee that the new strategy reflects the very best knowledge, experience and comprehensive coverage of issues gained through decades of hard work. Due to their various specializations and activities, each authority was able to present a variety of perspectives on issues facing people of determination.


This integrative approach goes even further, and is seen in the structure of the six teams assigned to implement the new strategy. Each team consists of local and federal authorities, private sector actors, representatives of third parties, associations of people of determination, as well as people of determination themselves, and their families. The teams are: the Health and Rehabilitation Team, led by the Department of Health; the Education Team, led by the Department of Education and Knowledge; an Employment Team, led by the Human Resources Authority; a Social Care Team, led by Zayed Higher Organization for People of Determination; a Full Access Team, led by the Department of Municipalities and Transport; and an Enablers Team, led by the Department of Community Development.


In reviewing the objectives of the new strategy, the UAE already demonstrates remarkable progress in the first two areas; “building a community culture based on the rights perspective of people of determination” and “activating the role of and empowering the people of determination and their families by engaging them in the process of transformation into an integrating society.” The process of empowering people of determination across the country has succeeded in achieving many integrated objectives; such as developing legislative frameworks, as well as implementing education, health and labor plans. The objectives of increasing community awareness and promoting legal and humanitarian rights have also become engrained within many parts of UAE society. Developing “value and intellectual structures” in this way gives people of determination a solid and robust foundation to guarantee sustainability and the full realization of their rights.


In reference to the strategy’s second objective, people of determination in the UAE appear to have moved beyond vulnerability and marginalization, and are now a driving force in the wider process of integration in society, which will give them a sense of strength and effectiveness as a positive influence. It is also important to engage the families of people of determination, because of the vital role they play in providing psychological, medical and educational support; an indispensable role in furthering the country’s efforts and aspirations. Finally, the Abu Dhabi Comprehensive Strategy for People of Determination is a model that embodies the UAE’s efforts to promote humanity, providing every possible opportunity for a dignified life that meets physical and spiritual needs.