DUBAI UAE, 3 April 2024: Furthering Dubai’s commitment to accessible travel and in time for World Autism Awareness Day, 2 April, Emirates has achieved a Certified Autism Centre Designation for all of its Dubai Check In facilities.  

The certification extends to Emirates City Check-in & Travel Store in DIFC, Emirates Cruise Check-in (Port Rashid, Emirates Cruise Check-in), Dubai Harbour, and Emirates City Check-In Ajman, in addition to the Emirates’ dedicated hub in Terminal 3 at Dubai International Airport (DXB).

The certification, awarded by the International Board of Credentialing and Continuing Education Standards (IBCCES), ensures that all Emirates facilities in Dubai have taken a significant step towards making travel more inclusive and accessible to neurodiverse customers, meeting criteria required for a comfortable and supported travel experience.

As part of the designation, Emirates employees at the various facilities underwent specialised training on autism and sensory awareness to equip them with the understanding and skills to address the needs of autistic travellers, those with sensory sensitivities, and their families. Comprehensive facilities audits were conducted across the locations, measuring all sensory inputs in public areas such as sound levels, lighting, and potential sights and smells to develop sensory guides, empowering travellers to make informed decisions and choose the environment that best suits their needs and preferences.

This achievement builds on Dubai International Airport’s recent recognition as the first international airport to earn the designation from IBCCES and aligns with the Department of Economy and Tourism’s (DET) vision of becoming the first Certified Autism Destination™ (CAD) in the Middle East.

Emirates’ City Check-Ins across Dubai offer a seamless and stress-free pre-airport experience in convenient and easily accessible locations, where Emirates customers can check in for flights up to 24 hours in advance, drop off luggage between four and 24 hours before departure, and choose between agent-assisted check-ins, robot-assisted check-ins, or self-service kiosks, allowing a more relaxed travel experience. 

Mohammed H. Mattar – Emirates DSVP Airport Services commented: “As a global airline, Emirates is committed to providing a seamless travel experience for everyone. We recognise the challenges customers with autism and sensory sensitivities face in airport environments. That’s why we’ve proactively partnered with Dubai’s DET and IBCCES to certify all our city check-in locations across the UAE. This initiative is a crucial step forward in our ongoing mission to make travel inclusive and accessible for all.” 

Myron Pincomb, Chairman of the Board for IBCCES remarked: “Emirates is known worldwide for its exceptional guest service. Checking in for a flight is one of the most stressful segments of the travel experience. With the completion of the facilities, audit and the addition of the new sensory guides, the check-in procedure at the check-in facilities will be more accommodating for people of determination, and especially those with sensory challenges.”

Emirates, Department of Economy and Tourism and Dubai Airports work together with the General Directorate of Residency and Foreign Affairs, Dubai Police and Dubai Customs to make travel more inclusive, reflecting Dubai’s commitment to becoming a leading destination for travellers with diverse needs.

IBCCES also created, a free online resource for families that lists certified destinations and connects families to other resources and each other. Each destination listed on the site has met the CAC requirements.

Delivering The Global Standard For Training and Certification in The Field of Cognitive Disorders – IBCCES provides a series of certifications that empower professionals to be leaders in their field and improve the outcomes for the individuals they serve. These programs are recognised around the world as the leading benchmark for training and certification in the areas of autism and other cognitive disorders. 

Read more about Accessible Travel with Emirates


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