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Arab Genomic Studies
The Centre for Arab Genomic Studies to host the Human Genome Meeting 2011 in Dubai
17 Dec 2008

The Centre for Arab Genomic Studies is pleased to announce that Dubai will be the venue for the prestigious Human Genome Meeting in 2011, organized by the Human Genome Organization. The selection of Dubai for hosting this prestigious conference follows the presentation of a competitive bid for the same by a team from Dubai, consisting of members of CAGS, Dubai World Trade Centre (DWTC), and the Dubai Convention Bureau (DCB).

The Human Genome Meeting is a series of annual conferences organized by the Human Genome Organisation (HUGO) with an aim to update and increase knowledge in the ever-evolving field of human genome research, and is considered a major event for both renowned scientists and young investigators. This will be the first time that the HGM will be held in an Arab country. Commenting on this achievement, Prof. Najib Al-Khaja, President of CAGS said, “The Centre for Arab Genomic Studies and the Human Genome Organisation share very similar objectives and perspectives. Both organizations are important brokers of ideas and strategies in the field of human genetics and genomics.” This sentiment was echoed by Prof. Edison Liu, President of HUGO, who was recently in Dubai to attend the Fifth Dubai International Conference for Medical Sciences organized by the Sheikh Hamdan Award for Medical Sciences. Although HUGO is truly an international organization, it has of late taken enormous efforts to concentrate on playing a major role in the genetics and genomics research and development of emerging countries.

HUGO’s interest in CAGS stems from the fact that the Centre is recognized as the hub of genomic studies in the Arab World, and is an excellent medium to reach out to the entire World. In fact, HUGO and CAGS already have a history of mutual co-operation and collaboration. As Dr. Mahmoud Taleb Al Ali, Director of CAGS clarifies, “HUGO has been a principal supporter of the Pan Arab series of conferences on Human Genetics Conference organized by CAGS. The first conference in 2006 was distinguished by an entire team from HUGO that held meeting with CAGS members, and expressed their interest in affiliating CAGS with HUGO for future activities in the region. This was the first appearance of HUGO in the Arab World, and laid the seeds for further interactions between the two. The second edition of the conference, held in 2007, was attended by the President of HUGO, Prof. Edison Liu, who took this opportunity to meet and familiarize himself with geneticists in the region.”

HGM 2011 will be held at the Dubai World Trade Centre (DWTC), which harbors the vision of making Dubai the world’s leading destination for all major exhibitions, conferences, and events.

Mr. Hilal Saeed Al Marri, Director General, Dubai World Trade Centre explains: “DWTC is proud to play a role in enhancing Dubai’s international position as a major hub for large scale meetings and events. Apart from the huge short-term direct benefit to the economy, hosting international congresses has an even greater long-term indirect impact. They increase Dubai’s profile as a centre of excellence within this specialized knowledge-based sector and play a significant role in attracting multinational companies to Dubai which spurs direct foreign investment to the local medical industry”.

In addition to the HGM, HUGO has further plans to collaborate with CAGS. According to Dr. Ghazi Tadmouri, Assistant Director, CAGS, “Of special interest is the organization of the 3rd Pan Arab Human Genetics Conference in Dubai in late 2009. The conference will be concurrently held with a HUGO symposium on genomics and hereditable disorders, which would also involve international organizations, including the World Health Organization.”