Ghanem, 3, wins hearts at Dubai Municipality stall during Rehab Dubai 2006

Ghanem does not have legs. But that doesn't stop him from swimming or even walking - on his hands. Ghanem, 3, won hearts at the Dubai Municipality stall during the just held Dubai International Rehabilitation Forum, Rehab Dubai 2006.

"Though he is disabled, Ghanem has the power to enthuse anybody with his athletic confidence," said Muna Ali Bin Hareb, Head of Corporate Marketing and Exhibitions Unit at the Dubai Municipality.

"He was there all three days of the exhibition with his mother Umm Ghanem, who happily shared with visitors her experiences with her son," Muna said.

"Ghanem has literally won hearts of all of us and all those who visited the Rehab. He can walk on his hands, swim and do many other things despite his disability. With his rock hard confidence, he has proved himself that disability is not a hindrance for anything," she said.

"Umm Ghanem, who is also involved with many charity organisations, has written a few books about her son to tell his story to the world. With his presence at our stall we wanted to convey a message of hope to other disabled people," she said.

"We put up posters of famous people with special needs. They included the great musician Beethoven, who was deaf; Helen Keller, a pioneer in championing the cause of the blind; and Dr Taha Hussain, Arabic literary giant, who was also blind," Muna said.

She said the municipality's Rehab participation was useful. "First of all, we could convey a message of confidence to the disabled. We are also proud to present Ghanem as a symbol of that confidence.

"We've received a few applications from qualified disabled people, who were interested to take up jobs in the Municipality," she added.

Muna said the municipality has been giving importance to people with special needs, considering them an integral part of the society.

The number of people with special needs taking up jobs with Dubai Municipality has risen to 27, including 4 special female employees.

"Dubai Municipality is providing them with equal opportunities to help them work along with their colleagues in different departments and sections.

"People with special needs enjoy a great deal of encouragement from the leadership of the municipality," Muna said.