Working with local schools, autism groups and key stakeholders, Emirates and Dubai International Airport (DXB) are focused on improving the travel experience for neurodivergent passengers, facilitating ‘travel rehearsals’ where children can practice their journey through the airport and onboard aircraft
Emirates has also been working with Dubai Airports to facilitate travel rehearsals for neurodiverse children, including students from the Mohammed bin Rashid Centre for Special Education. These rehearsals form part of the accessible and inclusive travel programme developed by Dubai Airports and Emirates, designed to help customers familiarise themselves with the airport environment, its people and processes, prior to travel. The students are accompanied by family members and therapists through the airport and aircraft to simulate an authentic travel experience, including the physical artefacts and processes that passengers will go through on the day of travel, like boarding passes and security screening. The practice process helps the families gain confidence in managing the experience, whilst also enabling Emirates and Dubai Airports to constantly improve services for passengers with additional needs.
More than 29,000 cabin crew and ground staff globally have completed Emirates ‘Introduction to Autism and Hidden Disabilities’ training. The online course was first launched in 2022 and covers a range of topics from the UAE National Policy for People of Determination, recognising autism, practical tips on how to assist passengers with hidden disabilities, responding with empathy, and information on the official support systems to help passengers in the airport.