A lot of people who visit or live in Dubai are in awe and love what this amazing city has to offer. I shall show you a new side of it, a side that few people are privileged to see: what the city of Dubai has to offer for the handicapped people who are confined to wheelchairs. I shall show you Dubai through my eyes, see what I see, what I feel, and rejoice in the choices of movement.
Would you believe that from the moment I arrived, till the minute I departed, my wheelchair did not have to be carried not once! Everywhere we went was wheelchair accessible. It started with my special handicap-friendly hotel room; big and spacious with a huge drive-through bathroom that had a bath chair built in for my shower, yay! Luxurious comfort ha ha. It made me feel that for once I wasn’t overlooked as a handicapped person – it made me feel relevant.
Everywhere we went there were ramps – small, big, curved, straight, long and short, all making sure my wheelchair could go anywhere my heart desired. This to me, spelled freedom. Freedom to go out and enjoy everything this wonderful city has to offer – from restaurants, to movie theaters, to concerts and operas, from malls, to walks on the beaches, to walks in the parks, to simply living and breathing fresh air. The ability to go everywhere is not only liberating, it is inspiring, motivating, and comforting. Knowing that someone actually cared enough to provide this freedom of movement for the handicapped community touches my heart to the core, it even reinstates my faith in humanity.
As I was enjoying my outings, I was also pleasantly surprised by the amount of public wheelchair restrooms everywhere – you have no idea how comforting that is! You must think that I am obsessed with bathrooms ha ha, but it is one of the main reasons why I cannot venture out more often. I must mention how clean they are as well, unbelievable how well kept and clean they are.
While sitting in my wheelchair going around the city, I felt I had a variety to choose from; I took comfort in knowing that I can be entertained without being confined or concerned which made me feel alive and well. Deriving pleasure and happiness out of being granted accessibility to everything and everywhere is by itself wonderfully satisfying.
Thank you Dubai for being a model city that everyone should learn from when it comes to accommodating for the handicapped community. Thank you for offering us wheelchair ridden patients a sense of normality and reminding us that we too are humans with rights to go and see places just as much as healthy people. Dubai must be a model for cities all around the world.