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Propelled by the UAE's wise leadership in an effort to consolidate pillars of a modern state based on institutions that keep abreast with scientific and research developments, the Emirates Center for Strategic Studies and Research (ECSSR) was established on  March 14, 1994. The Center was established through a decision taken by the UAE President, His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, who was at that time Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces.

Under the directions of the ECSSR President, His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi, Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces, the  ECSSR became an independent center for scientific research and studies on social, economic and political issues of interest primarily to the United Arab Emirates and the Gulf region, as well as to the Arab world.

In June 2005, the ECSSR moved to its new building, whose design and facilities are meant to meet the needs of the Center and to promote its pioneering role in academia, research, and UAE societal demands. Since its inception, the Center has attracted attention as a committed and growth-oriented academic institution. This attractive venue has played host to a multitude of eminent dignitaries visiting the UAE, such as political leaders, thinkers, administrative officials, scholars, professors and researchers.