Majid Al Futtaim – one of the leading shopping mall, communities, retail and leisure pioneers across the Middle East, Africa and Asia – has launched the region’s first ‘People of Determination Advisory Panel’, in a move to ensure its customer offering is inclusive for all members of the UAE community, and in line with the UAE government’s efforts to empower and protect the rights of People of Determination.

The Panel comprises representatives from the UAE Ministry of Community Development, Dubai Municipality and Sharjah City for Humanitarian Services along with a mix of customers who are either People of Determination or a parent of one and independent subject matter experts.

Speaking about the launch, Ibrahim Al-Zu’bi, chief sustainability officer at Majid Al Futtaim Holding, said, “The UAE Government is setting a cutting-edge pace in its inclusivity ambitions and, as a leading private sector company in the region, it is inspiring us to do the same. We are confident that our new People of Determination Advisory Panel will further strengthen our offering for all members of our community, in line with the UAE Vision 2021 and the UAE Centennial 2071 goals.”

“This panel will play a pivotal role in achieving our long-term vision of creating great moments for everyone, everyday” he added. “Majid Al Futtaim is proud to be an equal opportunities employer with several People of Determination colleagues working across the company.”

The Panel will advise Majid Al Futtaim on practical aspects covering physical accessibility, tailored digital services and staff training needs, as well as how the business can incorporate more People of Determination into its growing workforce. It will meet periodically and Panel members will be invited to test out new business services and give their feedback on any customisation needed for differing customer needs before they are rolled out across the company.

Majid Al Futtaim’s Carrefour business is to be the first to be reviewed in detail by the Panel, which will review existing initiatives in place, store accessibility, offline and online service design and colleague knowledge and training needs. Carrefour has started to implement a number of dedicated offerings aimed at People of Determination, including three different types of trolleys designed to support customers with different physical needs. These include an electric mobility scooter with attached basket, which can be used by people with mobility issues, including the elderly; a ‘Caroline Cart’ for parents with older children with mobility challenges; and a separate trolley designed to be used by wheelchair users. Carrefour is introducing plastic trolleys into its 102 UAE stores, which are easier to manoeuvre than traditional aluminium ones, as well as extra wide checkout aisles for its hypermarkets, which are suitable for wheelchair and other mobility accessory users.

In addition, Carrefour has called upon the UAE community to submit their suggestions and recommendations on how to improve its offering for people of determination, using the hashtag #CarrefourPOD.