Abstract: Due to rumors circulating about the future of the Gulf Research Center, we felt the need to set the matter straight and inform our network, both individuals and partner organizations, about the current situation. To be very clear at the outset, the Gulf Research Center is not closing and will continue with all of its activities. However, circumstances beyond our control have resulted in the need for the GRC to restructure its operations.
The main reason lies in the fact that the Gulf Research Center has not been allowed to renew it operating license as per the law of the United Arab Emirates. The GRC has existed and operated in Dubai, UAE under a ten-year professional license (#519601) since July 2000. The license covered the areas of social science research, publishing, translation, conference organization and consultancy work among others.
Upon the expiry of the license in July 2010, immediate efforts were undertaken with the UAE Government of Dubai - Department for Economic Development to apply for a renewal. These efforts were initially blocked with no concrete reasoning. Only at the end of October 2010 were we told verbally that a license renewal would not be forthcoming due to objections by the Dubai government to various aspects of the GRC’s work. We consider none of these objections to be valid and have answered each one in thorough detail. However, subsequent attempts to resolve the situation have not been successful.
We consider the decision by the Dubai authorities to be unfortunate and unnecessary. At the same time, and despite our considerable financial losses, we are fully committed to respect the legal requirements associated with such a decision. We have therefore been given little choice but to relocate our activities for the time being to our existing offices in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, Geneva and Cambridge, UK. Members of the staff will be moved according to our requirements. Furthermore and in correspondence with this shift, it is our intention to expand both our regional and international activities.
Outside of this re-structuring, nothing else changes. Please be ensured that the Gulf Research Center will continue with its work and that all existing commitments and agreements with individuals, with partner institutions and with corporate members remain in effect.
Dr. Abdulaziz O. Sager