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Three UAE Think Tanks Among Best in MENA Region

Melanie Swan, The National
February 10, 2015

Three local think tanks have been listed among the best in the MENA region in the University of Pennsylvania’s 2014 Global Go To Think Tank Index Report.

Out of 55 organizations, the Emirates Centre for Strategic Studies and Research came in at 21, followed by the Economic Policy and Research Centre, which was 35th, and the Sheikh Saud bin Saqr Al Qasimi Foundation for Policy Research, in 50th place.

Dr. Natasha Ridge, head of research at the Al Qasimi Foundation, said such recognition is crucial for the UAE.

“Being recognized by the Think Tank and Civil Societies Program is significant because the rankings provide us with a benchmark to evaluate ourselves in relation to other regional institutions. It helps to highlight both our accomplishments and our opportunities for development.

“Having an education think tank from the UAE rank among the top regional research bodies gives external credibility to the UAE as a research hub for the region. It also demonstrates the value that the UAE’s rulers place on high-quality research and many other development initiatives throughout the country.”

Dr. Hilda Freimuth, a senior lecturer at Khalifa University in Abu Dhabi, said the role of education is vital in the UAE’s economic growth and international leadership potential.

“Currently, the UAE government’s 2021 Vision document is directing the country’s future development. Here, leaders recognize that in order for the UAE to become more competitive on the international stage, it must foster a knowledge economy. That’s where education comes in, because education is what fuels human capital and leads to innovation.”