Nawal Benzaouia Is Applauding Dubai’s Efforts Towards Accessibility For People Of Determination

Farah Makhlouf

People of Determination are not at all an afterthought in the UAE, particularly in Dubai. Buildings have large elevators, ramps, disability-friendly bathrooms and many more. Every infrastructure, even transportation takes into consideration how a person of determination could use them.

There’s a remarkable company called Massiraa that helps promote accessibility in the UAE and France. The founder, Nawal Benzaouia was inspired by her sister, Salwa, who has Down Syndrome and in 2017 she launched the company.

“Dubai is doing an amazing job” with accessibility, Nawal said


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Just in case you’re wondering, yes the name of the company does have a significant meaning to the founder and the cause. Massiraa is an Arabic road for path and in Morocco, where Nawal is from, there’s an area that’s called Massiraa. There, Nawal’s sister Salwa was never made to feel disabled.

“They were not trying to make extra effort to be with her. They were not treating her differently” Nawal said, recalling her time in Massiraa, Morocco.


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“It’s not people with disabilities. It’s not people with special needs. It’s People Of Determination”

The UAE has chosen to make the inclusive and empowering decision to call disabled people “People Of Determination” and Nawal found that to be quite remarkable. She thought back to a time when her friend came to visit her in Dubai and he said he felt powerful to be referred to as a person of determination.

Nawal also made an excellent observation that when companies in Dubai are informed on how to make positive changes to become more accessible, they jump at the opportunity to implement them in record time.

Massiraa takes a ‘practice what you preach’ approach within their own company. Nawal said that the practises she advises companies to adopt to become more accessible and inclusive, are practises they do internally at Massiraa.


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