The Emirates Policy Center (EPC), the trailblazing think tank in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and the Middle East region continued its achievements in 2020. EPC has been able to overcome challenges and obstacles due to the COVID-19 pandemic by employing cyberspace to cement networking with researchers and counterpart think tanks all over the world. The center has also been able to increase the number of webinars and improve tools to approach regional and global issues, developments and shifts.

EPC President, Dr. Ebtesam al-Ketbi, said that the COVID-19 pandemic “has not prevented the center from continuing its pioneering work and development. We have succeeded in turning challenges arising from the pandemic into new opportunities.”

Dr. al-Ketbi pointed out that EPC was “among the first regional think tanks that responded swiftly to the consequences of Coronavirus pandemic and tried to foresee geopolitical, economic and social shifts resulting from the pandemic.”

During the first 9 months of 2020, the center held 15 webinars that dealt with developments of regional crises and conflicts in light of the COVID-19 pandemic, especially in Yemen, Libya, Syria, Iraq, Somalia, Turkey, Iran, as well as, the issue of the Renaissance Dam between Ethiopia, Egypt and Sudan.

EPC’s webinars also touched upon the post-Coronavirus global geostrategic and economic shifts and dedicated one webinar to discus the strategic shifts of the Emirati-Israeli peace treaty. EPC allowed the audience taking part in these webinars to interact by live-streaming them on the center’s account on all various social media platforms as well as on its YouTube channel.

To achieve its endeavor in supporting decision makers, the center has produced about 656 papers such as policy papers and position papers that focus on understanding and analyzing ongoing regional and global political shifts and building scenarios for evolving regional conflicts.

EPC has also produced 5 publications in Arabic and English, as well as, expanding projects of strategic analysis and mapping actors in 9 of the most important global and regional powers.

After its launch early 2020, the second improved version of the center’s website has become one of the key platforms that provides decision makers, researchers and those interested in relevant fields with in-depth analysis of key issues and evolving issues in Arabic and English based on EPC’s methodologies and standards. There were 685 policy analyses and featured topics published on EPC’s website in both languages at the rate of two papers daily. The center’s website has seen an increase of 85% in the number of visitors, while the total number of people who have browsed the center’s website reached about 305,000. The number of people, who have accessed EPC’s accounts on social media (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and YouTube), has reached almost 3.7 million since the beginning of the year.

Moreover, EPC has expanded its partnerships with counterpart think tanks regionally and globally. It, therefore, signed a trilateral strategic partnership agreement with the Atlantic Council in Washington D.C and the Institute for National Security Studies in Tel Aviv. That partnership was the result of the momentum generated by the “Abraham Accords” signed between UAE and Israel with the aim of promoting bilateral relations and enhancing stability and prosperity in the region.

On another level, EPC held its annual conference or “7TH Abu Dhabi Strategic Debate (ADSD)” virtually this year with the participation of prominent intellects and experts from all over the world. This year’s ADSD edition focused on approaching three variables that will contribute to shaping both global and regional orders which included COVID-19, U.S Presidential elections, and the UAE-Israel peace accord.

Given these significant achievements and the high degree of interaction between EPC’s outcomes and decision-makers, researchers and those with interest in relevant fields, EPC feels a great responsibility and at the same time is highly motivated to make more accomplishments. “EPC aspires to continue its march as a leading UAE think tank that develops strategic visions to better understand global and regional trends that will shape our future, and at the same time enhances its position on the map of think tanks in the world”, Dr. al-Ketbi stated.    

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