Providing equal access to women may prove somewhat difficult there!
A Cheshire business has opened its first international office in Dubai, after winning a contract to turn the city’s Expo 2020 exhibition into an event accessible for all, thanks to support from the Department for International Trade (DIT).
Direct Access Consultancy, based in Nantwich, provides accessibility audits to help improve disabled access for buildings and transport systems. Each of the company’s five staff has a disability, giving them advanced insight into the potential challenges facing the 20 million visitors expected to visit Dubai for the first ever World Expo to be hosted in the Middle East. As the event’s ‘universal design consultant’, the business is advising the Expo’s planners on implementing international best practice for accessibility.
The business is also helping the Expo meet the requirements of Dubai’s Universal Design Code – a policy introduced in 2017 to help improve accessibility across the emirate. The Expo 2020 contract comes during a period of significant export growth for Direct Access Consultancy. Between 2017 and 2018, exports grew from a standing start to become 80% of the business’ annual revenue. The company’s senior leadership are now working to build on its early success in the Middle East after DIT advisers helped the business identify the UAE as a potential market of opportunity.