UAE launches ‘National Genome Strategy’ to support the implementation of genomic programs

In the coming decade, a robust strategy will be implemented to establish a comprehensive framework of legislation and governance in the UAE. This framework aims to support the development and implementation of genomic programmes, enabling the country to prioritize public health concerns and improve the overall well-being of its citizens. With this strategy in place, the UAE is poised to make significant strides in the field of genomics, bringing about positive impacts for years to come.

His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed stated, – “The UAE has always placed great emphasis on science and knowledge as key drivers of its development. With a steadfast commitment to our people’s well-being, our topmost priority is to provide the highest standard of healthcare and quality of life. Through our focus on advancing scientific knowledge and technological innovation, we aim to improve the lives of our citizens and promote a brighter future for all.”

His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum said, – “By launching the National Genome Strategy, the UAE underscores its status as a leading hub for cutting-edge healthcare research, innovation, and the adoption of advanced technologies. This landmark strategy not only demonstrates the country’s commitment to staying at the forefront of scientific progress but also highlights its potential to drive significant advancements in the field of genomics. As a result, the UAE is poised to make remarkable strides in healthcare research and technology, solidifying its position as a global leader in the field.”

H.H. Sheikh Khaled said, – “With the implementation of the National Genome Strategy, the UAE is poised to establish a wide and bearable ecosystem that will propel the growth of priority preventative and personalized healthcare solutions for our residents. The strategy’s accompanying Council will provide critical oversight, including managing the ambitious ‘One Million Genome’ project. This project is set to revolutionize the healthcare sector, enhancing its services by leveraging the latest advances in genomics research. Together, these initiatives will usher in a new era of advanced healthcare solutions and improved health outcomes for the people of the UAE.”

National Genome Strategy: key pillars
Since its inception in 2021, the Emirates Genome Council has made remarkable strides in laying the groundwork for regulatory, research, technological, and medical institutions to come together, collaborate, and develop high-quality medical applications and services. The council’s efforts have resulted in the establishment of a solid foundation that facilitates seamless connectivity and cooperation among these critical stakeholders. As a result, the UAE is well-positioned to leverage the latest advances in genomics research to deliver cutting-edge healthcare solutions and services, further cementing its position as a leader in the field.

Sara bint Yousef Al Amiri, a Secretary-General of the Emirates Genome Council, said, – “The National Genome Strategy is poised to create a sustainable ecosystem that will drive advances in healthcare and promote overall well-being in the UAE. To achieve this, the Emirates Genome Council has developed a five-pillar strategy that will serve as the foundation of this groundbreaking initiative.

By leveraging these pillars, the UAE is poised to achieve unprecedented progress in the field of genomics and advance the well-being of its citizens for years to come.”

As a key foundational project within the National Genome Strategy, the Emirati Genome Programme (EGP) has garnered significant attention. This groundbreaking initiative is widely recognized as one of the most comprehensive genomic projects in the world and is poised to play a critical role in advancing the UAE’s preventive and personalized healthcare agenda. Through collaborations with leading research and medical institutions across the country, the EGP will leverage cutting-edge genomic technologies to drive breakthroughs in healthcare research and promote better health outcomes for the people of the UAE.

“The Emirati Genome Programme (EGP) is set to revolutionize healthcare delivery by enabling medical teams to provide personalized healthcare services based on a thorough understanding of each patient’s genetic makeup. In addition to this, the vast amount of genetic information gathered through the EGP will be instrumental in developing solutions to limit the spread of genetic and chronic diseases such as diabetes, blood pressure conditions, and cancer.

To date, the EGP database contains whole genome sequencing data from approximately 400,000 Emirati citizens. The ultimate goal is to collect samples from one million individuals nationwide, and the council eagerly anticipates the participation of all Emiratis in this groundbreaking initiative. By working together, the UAE can achieve unprecedented progress in healthcare research and advance the well-being of its people in meaningful ways.”

“The Emirati Genome Programme (EGP) is poised to deliver a groundbreaking foundation for understanding the genetic basis of health and disease. By leveraging cutting-edge genomics technologies, the EGP will help to identify the specific genetic health risks for each Emirati citizen, paving the way for personalized prevention and precision treatments.

This groundbreaking initiative is the result of close collaboration with leading researchers and institutions across the UAE, ensuring that the latest advances in genomics research are brought to bear on this critical challenge. The EGP is poised to revolutionize healthcare delivery in the UAE and beyond, unlocking new possibilities for personalized care and advancing the well-being of Emiratis for years to come.” She added.

Advancing Healthcare, Capacity Building
As the overseer of all UAE genomics programmes and projects, the Emirates Genome Council plays a pivotal role in advancing the nation’s healthcare sector. Working closely with key stakeholders, including the Ministry of Health and Prevention, Emirates Health Services Establishment, and the Department of Health – Abu Dhabi, as well as leading academic, medical, and technological institutions, the council is committed to driving progress in preventive medicine and precision medicine.

The National Genome Strategy is set to revolutionize the UAE’s healthcare sector by supporting doctors in taking proactive steps to reduce the prevalence of certain diseases, enabling early intervention, and identifying the most effective treatments. By leveraging genomic sciences, the strategy will help to reduce healthcare costs and drug expenditures over the long term, while creating new economic opportunities in fields such as artificial intelligence, advanced medical care, pharmaceuticals, and research and technology.

Moreover, the strategy will help to nurture specialized local talent and create jobs in future-focused industries, further solidifying the UAE’s position as a hub for innovation and cutting-edge research. With the Emirates Genome Council at the helm, the UAE is poised to lead the way in genomics research and innovation, unlocking new possibilities for improved health and well-being for all Emiratis.

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