Abu Dhabi will host the World Federation of the Deaf Conference in 2027, taking place for the first time in the MENA region, organised by Zayed Higher Organization for People of Determination (ZHO) in cooperation with the Department of Culture and Tourism – Abu Dhabi, ADNEC and UAE Deaf Association.

The event provides a platform for experts, industry leaders and more than 2,000 deaf participants, from 125 countries, to exchange knowledge and discuss efforts to enhance inclusivity in Abu Dhabi and across the world.

This global gathering is an opportunity to review Abu Dhabi’s efforts under the directives of the wise leadership, and present the emirate’s successful experience in supporting and empowering various groups of people of determination, especially the deaf. It will also present a myriad of initiatives and policies that conform to international standards and demonstrate care for People of Determination to be active players in the process of construction and sustainable development. It also highlights efforts to create an appropriate environment that enhances the quality of life for People of Determination and their families and facilitates their integration into society.

His Highness Sheikh Khalid bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Chairman of the Board of Directors of ZHO, congratulated His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, President of the UAE, on Abu Dhabi’s winning the right to host the WFD 20th Global Congress in 2027 for the first time in MENA.

His Highness Sheikh Khalid bin Zayed Al Nahyan also congratulated His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai and His Highness Sheikh Mansour bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Vice President, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of the Presidential Court, and His Highness Sheikh Khaled bin Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Chairman of the Executive Council.

His Highness Sheikh Khalid bin Zayed Al Nahyan thanked parties cooperating with ZHO and the work team that worked on the hosting file, a matter which contributed to winning the vote of the congress members to choose Abu Dhabi as the host city. He commended this achievement, which aligns with the wise leadership’s care for Emiratis as a basic pillar of renaissance and progress, including all groups of the Emirati society in general and People of Determination in particular.

His Highness Sheikh Khalid bin Zayed Al Nahyan said that the great success achieved in organising major international events and activities in the UAE, especially for People of Determination, have had good results that contributed to confirming the UAE’s capabilities.

His Excellency Major General Staff Pilot Faris Khalaf Al Mazrouei, Commander in Chief of Abu Dhabi Police, said that Abu Dhabi Police, in cooperation with ZHO and strategic partners, supports Abu Dhabi's hosting of the meetings of the 20th WFD Global Congress in 2027.

He noted the important contribution of the congress in the realisation of common visions to integrate People of Determination of the deaf category into societies, and to raise awareness on their rights and capabilities and the importance of their engagement in the societal developmental process.

Participation in hosting this humanitarian event stems from the Abu Dhabi Police's continuous eagerness to support such community and humanitarian events. His Excellency Major General Staff Pilot Faris Khalaf Al Mazrouei explained, referring to the continuous cooperation with ZHO and educational institutions, seeks to empower and integrate People of Determination into society institutions, particularly the deaf category.

His Excellency Abdulla Saif Ali Slayem AlNuaimi, Ambassador of the UAE to Seoul, congratulated the wise leadership, and ZHO’s officials for winning the bid to host the WFD Global Congress in Abu Dhabi.

His Excellency Abdulla Saif Ali Slayem AlNuaimi said: “This confidence of the WFD’s officials is appreciated by all state agencies, and enhances the status and ability of the UAE to organise and host international events and activities, under the great support of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, and the country’s distinguished infrastructure and great success potential.”

The ambassador noted that the UAE has the ability to host quality events with exceptional standards and is one of the leading hosts of international events and meets all relevant requirements.

His Excellency Abdulla Saif Ali Slayem AlNuaimi said: “We are always eager to host more international events and provide the best services to their participants.” His Excellency wished for a successful congress that can contribute to promoting international action to improve the lives of the deaf around the globe, and strengthen the position of the UAE as a leading country supporting the rights of various categories of determination, especially the deaf.

His Excellency Abdullah Al Humaidan, Secretary-General of ZHO, voiced his great pleasure with the WFD Global Congress granting Abu Dhabi the right to host it, welcoming the decision of the 19th Congress, which was recently held in South Korea’s Jeju City to have its upcoming session held in Abu Dhabi in 2027, which reflects ZHO’s great interest and distinguished activity at the international level, and its success in attracting distinct international events and activities related to People of Determination, demonstrating the status and ability of the UAE and its great potential for the success of various events and occasions.

His Excellency Abdullah Al Humaidan said: “Hosting the WFD Global Congress achieves the vision of the UAE in general and Abu Dhabi in particular on serving People of Determination, and extends bridges of cooperation and exchange of experiences with local, regional and international relevant bodies on the development and exchange of experiences with various international bodies interested in people of determination affairs. This is in addition to the integrated infrastructure and basic pillars enjoyed by Abu Dhabi, under our wise leadership’s support for development processes in various fields, showing the whole world on every occasion its super ability to impress all, and keenness to achieve highest rates and standards of organizational success.”

Al Humaidan emphasised that ZHO has started preparing for the major international event that has been held every four years since 1951 and is organized by the WFD and the host country.

Humaid Matar Al Dhaheri, Managing Director and CEO of ADNEC Group, said: “This achievement comes in line with the pioneering position achieved by Abu Dhabi in terms of supporting People of Determination, including the deaf, thanks to its competitive efforts to provide equal opportunities for the deaf in various fields to qualify them and enhance their integration into society, and ensure their access to a decent life within a comprehensive environment that integrates the various categories of society, by enacting legislation and launching initiatives that provide them with all services within their capabilities.

 “At ADNEC Group, we are looking forward to hosting the WFD Global Congress, to add to our successful march of hosting significant international events, through which we have shown high levels of flexibility and efficiency in providing our services at our centres, contributing to enhancing Abu Dhabi’s competitiveness to turn into a preferred global destination for hosting major events, and confirming its position as the capital of the business tourism industry in the region.”

Her Excellency Dr. Noura Khamis Al Ghaithi, Undersecretary of the Department of Health - Abu Dhabi, said: “We congratulate the wise leadership and the Abu Dhabi community for choosing the Emirate to host the WFD Global Congress in 2027, which is an important global event that highlights the potential of People of Determination and the continuous global efforts to empower them and stimulate their creativity. We, at the Department of Health - Abu Dhabi, work side by side with our ZHO partners for the success of the congress activities and to contribute effectively to the global efforts to support People of Determination in Abu Dhabi and around the world by highlighting the challenges faced by the deaf, ways and proposals aimed at ensuring healthy life for them and effective community participation, as well as identifying their needs and meeting them. We are preparing, through the congress, to review what Abu Dhabi has achieved in this connection and the efforts made in the health care sector and other sectors to date, as well as its ambitious future goals to enhance the health and safety of people of determination and stimulate their potential and creative energies".

His Excellency Dr. Salem Al Kaabi, Director General of Operations Affairs at the Department of Municipalities and Transport, voiced his pride in the success of Abu Dhabi's file of hosting the WFD Global Congress in 2027, describing this achievement as evidence of Abu Dhabi's firm commitment to empowerment and integration policies for People of Determination and the deaf category in particular, and enabling them to have access to all public services and utilities in the Emirate.

His Excellency Dr. Salem Al-Kaabi said: "We are committed to supporting the government efforts aimed at making this hosting a success, building public facilities that meet the needs of People of Determination in accordance with the best international practices, and providing an appropriate environment that supports the rights of People of Determination of the deaf category and enhances their quality of life. We look forward to the success of hosting the congress which reflects the prestigious position of Abu Dhabi as one of the capitals that support international efforts to empower People of Determination, and contribute to making a positive change in the lives of deaf around the world.”

His Excellency Ahmed Taleb Al-Shamsi, CEO of Emirates Foundation, said: “We congratulate our strategic partner, ZHO, for choosing Abu Dhabi to host the WFD Global Congress in 2027, which is a landmark event for the capital and ZHO alike. It is the first time for such an influential event to be held in MENA, and it will touch upon the human rights of the deaf and the status of member states in the education, culture, arts and sign language.

“Throughout its career, ZHO has been able to achieve impressive achievements, especially its expansion plans to accommodate People of Determination from all over Abu Dhabi, in line with the wise vision of the state's leadership on improving the quality of life of all members of society. Emirates Foundation will continue to cooperate with ZHO to support its efforts aimed at enabling People of Determination to reach their goals and ensuring a decent life for them.”

The meetings are geared towards exchanging best international practices, experiences and knowledge from the participating countries, exchanging views and opinions on rehabilitating the deaf in all areas and providing all necessary care for them, and cultivating relations with national organisations and federations concerned with the deaf from all over the world, as well as strengthening ties and cooperation among the deaf in the continents represented by the participating countries. The meetings also deepen and reinforce the societal role by contributing to supporting this category, and providing an opportunity for the deaf to take part and express their views through the congress and accompanying programmes.

The congress has a large cultural programme that includes theatrical performances, cinema, exhibitions, arts and visits to the most prominent local landmarks. The WFD seeks to promote the human rights of the deaf around the globe, focus on improving the status of national sign languages, provide better education for the deaf, improve access to information and services, as well as improving the human rights of the deaf in developing countries, and encouraging the inception of deaf organisations.