Dr. Ben Hadj Hassine – Leading the Way to Innovative Autism Care and Inclusive Society 

Dr. Ben Hadj Hassine | The Doris Duan-Young Autism Center | The Enterprise World

“If a child can’t learn the way we teach, maybe we should teach them the way they learn!”

Dr. Ben Hadj Hassine, as a trailblazing entrepreneur, is known for his exponential thinking and bold leadership that challenges conventions. He paves the way for new opportunities. The Enterprise World is proud to introduce him as The Most Successful Business Leader to Watch Out for 2023. 

Effective leadership entails more than just holding a position of authority; it involves empowering, motivating, and elevating others. Authentic leaders not only lead, but also contribute to the overall growth and development of their teams and organizations. They cultivate a work environment infused with passion, enthusiasm, empathy, and commitment to making a positive impact on society. 

One individual who embodies this compassionate, value-driven approach is Dr. Ben Hadj Hassine, the CEO and Managing Director of The Doris Duan-Young Autism Center (DDY). Dr. Ben Hadj Hassine strongly believes in capacity building and empowering all individuals. 

Dr. Ben Hadj Hassine is also motivated by the quote from his royal highness, Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum – Treat your team the way you want them to treat your customers, and upholds this philosophy for his own team. 

Dr. Ben Hadj Hassine epitomizes genuine leadership by prioritizing the well-being of his employees and empowering his team to reach their full potential. 

Drawing on over three decades of extensive experience in business development and entrepreneurial management across Europe,Dr. Ben Hadj Hassine embodies the qualities of a visionary leader. Dr. Ben Hadj Hassine is an innovative entrepreneur and results-driven executive, committed to achieving exceptional outcomes in highly competitive environments that demand constant improvement. 

As a highly skilled strategist with a proven track record of aligning organizations to achieve excellence and provide exceptional client service, Dr. Ben Hadj Hassine exudes positivity and always leads by example. 

He strongly believes in capacity building and empowering individuals to reach their full potential, recognizing that true leadership is not merely about being in charge, but also about inspiring and encouraging others to dream big, learn more, do more, and become more. 

Under Dr. Ben Hadj Hassine’s outstanding leadership, driven by his strong values and customer-oriented philosophy, The Doris Duan-Young Autism Center (DDY) has been recognized and awarded by several prestigious magazines. 

In 2019, the DDY Center won the Healthcare Innovation Award and ranked 2nd in the Outpatient Clinics category at the DHCA Excellence Awards. In 2020, it won the Outpatient Clinics Award and ranked 1st in the Rehabilitation Center category at the DHCA Excellence Awards. 

Dr. Ben Hadj Hassine was featured as one of the leading CEOs and leaders in the Gulf region in the Gulf Leaders 2020 list by Al Khaleej Times. In 2022, Dr. Ben Hadj Hassine was recognized as one of the Top 10 Most Dynamic Healthcare Entrepreneurs from Gulf by Gulf Entrepreneur. 

Expressing his pride in winning the Excellence Awards for two consecutive years, Dr. Ben Hadj Hassine stated, “This is a proud moment for us as it took us almost five years to reach this platform. Five years of hard work and many success stories. We feel so blessed to have the opportunity to make a difference in the lives of so many gifted children.” 

Driven by strategic growth plans, value-added service, and a commitment to helping people share their unique talents with the world, Dr. Ben Hadj Hassine and his exceptional team are poised to demonstrate that DDY is indeed an expertise that truly cares. 

The Doris Duan-Young Autism Center (DDY)

The Doris Duan-Young Autism Center (DDY) is a pioneering institution that is dedicated to offering world-class counselling and behavioral support services for children and adults who are on the Autism spectrum. 

DDY is privileged to be led by a professional team of world-class Board-Certified Behavior Analysts (BCBA), a Clinical Psychologist, Behavior Analyst Technicians, Speech and Language Pathologists, Occupational Therapists, and Physical Therapists who are all licensed by the Dubai Health Authority (DHA). 

Moreover, its team members are accredited in Crisis Intervention Training by Canadian Safe Management Group, which ensures that they are equipped with the right skills to handle difficult situations. 

DDY believes in providing multidisciplinary care under one roof. Its team of passionate professionals works collaboratively to provide more than 18 services across assessments, therapeutic, inclusion and vocational programs, as well as community and caregiver training programs. 

“The aim is to build on the skills that are essential for leading a functional life within the child’s family and community.”

Since its establishment in 2014, DDY has been empowering almost 300 families by providing them with comprehensive, personalized, and innovative care. The dedication and commitment to providing excellent services have earned the center the well-deserved recognition as one of the leading autism centers in Dubai. 

DDY continues to work towards building an inclusive society for individuals with Autism and People of Determination and their families in collaboration with government, private, and academic institutions. It also supports Dubai’s medical tourism initiatives by providing world-class services to individuals from all over the world who come to Dubai seeking high-quality care. 

DDY is committed to empowering individuals on the Autism spectrum and helping them lead fulfilling and functional lives. 

Advancing With Innovation 

Healthcare is a complex and constantly evolving industry, driven by advances in technology, research, and changes in patient needs and expectations. As the world becomes more technologically advanced, the healthcare industry has to keep up with these changes to provide the best care possible. 

One area where technological advances are having a significant impact is in the treatment of autism spectrum disorder. The traditional approaches to autism treatment are often limited in scope and effectiveness. However, as technology continues to evolve, so does the potential for more innovative and effective treatments. 

DDY recognizes the importance of staying at the forefront of this rapidly evolving field, and is committed to being an innovative leader in the treatment of autism. By incorporating technology into its services and teaching programs, it is able to provide the most effective and individualized treatment for each child. 

DDY delivers individualized treatment with a range of services to meet the needs of each child. Its highly skilled professionals are licensed by the Dubai Healthcare Authority (DHA), including BCBA, Board-Certified Assistant Behavior Analysts, Clinical Psychologists, Speech-Language therapists, Occupational therapists, Physical therapists, and Registered Behavior therapists. 

Furthermore, the institute also involves parents actively in the treatment process. With this in mind, DDY team  works closely with each parent on a regular basis to ensure that the treatment plan includes goals that are important to them. This includes supporting children with desensitization to dentist offices, haircuts, community outings, and even helping introduce certain foods into their child’s diet. 

By staying at the forefront of technological advances and working closely with parents and other healthcare professionals, DDY is able to provide the most effective and comprehensive care for individuals with autism spectrum disorder. 

Building a Legacy of Success 

As an entrepreneur, Dr. Ben Hadj Hassine faced the typical challenges and obstacles that come with building a business. And through his vision, perseverance, and consultation with employees, he was able to identify key areas that required attention and strategize solutions to elevate The Doris Duan-Young Autism Center (DDY) to new heights. 

Under his insightful leadership, DDY expanded to include two new therapeutic centers and an Admin office, and gained recognition not just in the GCC, but globally. Today, the center serves nearly 300 families who come from around the world seeking treatment for their children. Thanks to the dedicated team of professionals at DDY, many of these children have successfully enrolled in mainstream schools after completing their treatment. 

Despite these achievements, Dr. Ben Hadj Hassine remains humble and attributes the success of DDY to the overwhelming support and trust of the families they serve. The center’s services are designed to build on skills that are essential for leading a functional life, and the team works collaboratively with families to achieve each child’s maximum potential. 

Success Speaks 

Every great leader has a unique perspective on what defines success. Dr. Ben Hadj Hassine, the visionary entrepreneur behind The Doris Duan-Young Autism Center, firmly believes that success means creating a bright and sustainable future for his family, employees, and clients. 

He is driven by the desire to build something he truly believes in, with a team of individuals who inspire him, and who share his passion for making a positive impact in the world. His unwavering commitment to this vision has been the driving force behind the success of DDY, as well as the countless families that the center has helped over the years. 

“If you are truly happy and grateful for what you have and wake up with a smile, then you have achieved success. True success can be defined in terms of bettering yourself in the pursuit of ultimately benefiting others. Success is having the sunshine on the inside of your heart because you arise each day knowing that you are, you have and you will make a difference in the world you live in. Success is the ability to provide happiness to people you love,” affirms Dr. Ben Hadj Hassine. 

Team For The Win 

As an exemplary leader, Dr. Ben Hadj Hassine believes in supporting and empowering his employees, family, and community members. For him, leadership is about inspiring others to dream, learn, do, and become more. 

A client shares, “People admire his positivity, tenacity, constancy, and emotional intelligence. When he comes into your life, he turns you into a better person, you can’t help it.” Such testimonials undoubtedly give a clear picture of Dr. Ben Hadj Hassine’s leadership style and how his people describe him as a leader. 

As an entrepreneur who owns a business employing 100 individuals, Dr. Ben Hadj Hassine recognizes his responsibility to 100 families and over 200 client families, and therefore, every decision he makes, he considers the consequences and weighs various factors. 

For Dr. Ben Hadj Hassine, what sets his team apart is the values they follow and put into practice – commitment, unconditional love, and passion. The DDY team is committed to giving 100% dedication to their clients and their families. 

They see themselves as accountable for delivering the best of their abilities, communicate openly, and go above and beyond their roles to help each other. They connect with their patients and their families with compassion, empathy, acceptance, and utmost sensitivity, representing unconditional love. 

The team wakes up motivated to help People of Determination and strives to build an environment where they can reach their full potential, representing passion. 

Setting It Apart 

The dedicated staff at DDY collaborates to offer more than 18 services, including diagnostic, therapeutic, inclusionary, and vocational programs, as well as community and caregiver trainings. 


  • Intake Assessment and Report Writing 
  • Behavioral Assessment 
  • Psychological Assessment 
  • Occupational Therapy Assessment 
  • Speech Language Assessment 
  • Physiotherapy Assessment 

Clinical Therapy 

  • Applied Behavioral Analysis (ABA) Therapy 
  • Occupational Therapy 
  • Physiotherapy 
  • Speech and Language Therapy 
  • Supervision by Board Certified Behavior Analyst (BCBA) 
  • Vocational Training 

Community Training 

  • Learning Support 
  • Parent/ Caregiver Behavior Training 
  • Social Skills Training 
  • Job Coaching 

In the 9-year journey, DDY has witnessed the challenges and obstacles that families and children with disabilities face. The center has collaborated with them to improve their quality of life. It allows parents to become involved in their child’s therapy by attending parent education seminars at the facility. 

It arranges community social trips to provide children the opportunity to develop social skills and access a variety of activities and experiences. 

“At DDY, we believe in providing a holistic treatment approach by incorporating all aspects of a child’s life in their treatment plan.”

The Technology Advantages in DDY 

DDY takes pride in its state-of-the-art facilities, which are designed to provide comprehensive care to individuals with autism. 

Sensory Development Center (Sensory Corner and Sensory Pods) 

Features fiberoptic illuminations, LED ball pit, bubble columns, vibrating bean bag chair, soothing aurora lights, and sensory toys, among others. 

Imagination Center 

Adopts ‘play’ into teaching independent living in the home, supermarket, and other simulation setups. 

Media and Group Play Center 

Fosters social skills through activities like games, movies, dancing, karaoke, or rock climbing. 

Observation Room 

Parents and caretakers can observe a session in progress using a one-way mirror, minimizing distraction and the child’s reactivity. In addition, the live recording feature helps parents replay sections. 

3D Immersive Technology (Magic Carpet) 

An interactive environment that can be customized for education, calming sensory application, rehabilitation, mainstream learning, social skills, group responding, speed and dexterity, visual performance, and concentration. 

DDY’S commitment to comprehensive care which has been further demonstrated through the Excellence Awards received from Dubai Healthcare City Authority for two consecutive years, 2019 and 2020. 

A Step Ahead 

Since its inception in 2014, DDY has been relentlessly working towards realizing Dr. Ben Hadj Hassine’s vision of creating a future where autism is understood, and People of Determination are fully integrated into society. 

With a steadfast commitment to innovation and excellence, DDY continually endeavors to enhance its services by hiring top-tier talent that brings diverse knowledge and skillsets to the team. 

The center takes great pride in nurturing its therapists and staff, providing them with ongoing training and education to stay ahead of the curve in the ever-evolving field of autism therapy. DDY ensures that each therapist is equipped with the latest tools and technology, and the center is equipped with state-of-the-art facilities that enable the team to provide unparalleled services to their clients. 

By prioritizing education, innovation, and empowerment, DDY is well on its way to becoming the go-to center for autism therapy in the UAE and beyond. 

Word of the wise 

Ben Hadj 

Managing Director 

In order for a young entrepreneur to start off strong, he should: 

  • Be aware of his target market before launching his business because failing to understand the market is one of the top reasons new businesses fail. 
  • Be passionate about what you do because when you base your ideas on something you truly love, you will be more focused and motivated. 
  • The only way to do great work is to love what you do! 
  • Implement a budget planning in order to keep the company’s finances straight. 
  • Hiring good and competent people with the skills and experience the company needs and they should also demonstrate a willingness to learn. 
  • Try to listen to people more than he talks. Listening to someone with full attention is a fine way to deliver a sense of respect and it enables you to see and understand his issue from every angle because most of the people do not listen with the intent to understand, they listen with the intent to reply. I follow the quote: the quitter you become, the more you can hear! 
  • Being able to solve and offer solutions to many problems his people are facing. 
  • Being confident and humble, people will respect him and take him more seriously. 
  • Surrounds himself with positive people who share his character and values and appreciates their feedback. 
  • Running a business requires a wide range of skills and expertise that a young entrepreneur haven’t mastered yet. Because of this, finding a mentor is one of the most crucial things he can do. 
  • Be prepared to make sacrifices. 

I think when you start a new business, you don’t have to be great to start but you have to work very hard to start to be great!

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