In commemoration of International Day of Persons with Disabilities, Ooredoo unveiled on Tuesday Qatar’s first smart wheelchair that is 5G-enabled and compatible with Google Assistant to help users identify areas and tourist destinations that are inclusive and accessible.
The unveiling event was part of Ooredoo’s aim of opening up the many tourist attractions in Qatar to all by partnering with Wheel the World, which “encourages touristic activities for people with disabilities, their friends, and family.”
Wheel the World promotes tourism for those with disabilities, raising awareness of the challenges they face when choosing travel options and working to make experiences possible. The collaboration has many high-profile backers, including celebrities and influencers like Samanta Bullock, Ghanim al-Muftah, and Ahmed al-Shahrani.
“As a telecommunications provider and digital partner, we thought of what we could offer to Qatar as it observes International Day of Persons with Disabilities (IDPD),” Ooredoo Qatar chief consumer officer Fatima Sultan al-Kuwari told Gulf Times on the sidelines of the event.
“In terms of tourism and considering that Qatar is going to host one of the biggest sporting activities in the coming two years, we decided that ‘tourism for all’ is something that Ooredoo must support in every industry in the country, so we worked very closely with our partners to ensure that there is inclusion for tourism in Qatar,” she explained.
After visiting many locations in Qatar and working with Ooredoo and several tourism-related companies in the country, Wheel the World has certified many activities and attractions here, according to al-Kuwari.
“Now, they have included Qatar on their website as the first Middle Eastern Arab country for people with disabilities. People with disabilities from other countries can go to https://qatar.gowheeltheworld.com/ and find the different hotels and other tourist attractions that are inclusive and accessible, and they can also book the smart wheelchair before visiting Qatar,” al-Kuwari pointed out.
Aside from the smart wheelchair, Ooredoo also launched ‘Sarah’, which could be accessed via Google Assistant. Sarah will answer questions about Qatar, its tourism destinations, and other locations in the country that are inclusive and accessible, al-Kuwari said.
Before visiting Qatar, al-Kuwari said people with disabilities could also book for a smart wheelchair at https://qatar.gowheeltheworld.com/. “We are working to include more smart wheelchairs depending on the demand but definitely there would be more of these chairs available in the country.”
Ooredoo Kuwait CEO Sheikh Mohamed bin Abdullah bin Mohamed al-Thani said: “We’re delighted to be working with Wheel the World and using Google Assistant API technology to make Qatar accessible to all, and this initiative is an ideal opportunity for us to live our Ooredoo brand pillars.
“In making a difference to those with disabilities we’re caring, we’re challenging the current status that some activities in Qatar, such as dune bashing are off-limits to those with disabilities. We’re connecting people with disabilities all over the world to enable them to book unique experiences in Qatar via the Ooredoo and Wheel the World branded booking portal. We want to make the incredible experiences our wonderful country has to offer available to all, and we look forward to welcoming visitors of all abilities to enjoy them.”
The collaboration between Ooredoo and Wheel the World is made possible with strategic partners Qatar National Tourism Council, Accessible Qatar, Supreme Committee for Delivery & Legacy, and Plug & Play, and supported by Qatar Airways, Katara Hospitality, Sharq Village & Spa, Embrace Doha, Qatar International Adventures, and 365 Adventures.
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