The Centre for Arab Genomic Studies (CAGS) was established on 25 June 2003 for the purpose of alleviating human suffering from genetic diseases in the Arab World. Since then, the Centre, a division of Sheikh Hamdan Award for Medical Sciences, has dedicated itself to improving human health by characterizing and preventing genetic disorders in Arab countries based on recent advances in human genetics.


The Executive Board of CAGS is formed of a number of local scientists and it represents the governing body and the legal trustee of all activities of the Centre. The Council of CAGS includes a number of regional scientists and it facilitates the exchange of information on genetic disorders occurring in Arab countries. Countries represented in the Council include: Bahrain, Egypt, Iraq, Jordan, Kuwait, Lebanon, Oman, Palestine, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Sudan, Tunisia, and the United Arab Emirates.


The Catalogue of Transmission Genetics in Arabs (CTGA) database, which is a continuously updated, open-access compendium of bibliographic material and observations on human gene variants and inherited, or heritable, genetic diseases in Arabs. As the database covers country after country in what is the largest scientific effort to define genetic disorders in Arab people, a clearer picture of the pattern of genetic disorders and effective strategies to prevent them is emerging.


For more information regarding CAGS visit the Website www.cags.org.ae
Via Email
Tel: +971 4 3986777
Fax: +971 4 3980999
Latest CAGS News
Representatives of the Center for Arab Genomics Studies, a subdivision of the Sheikh Hamdan Bin Rashid Al Maktoum Award for Medical Sciences, have returned to the UAE after attending the 22nd Human Genome Meeting held in Yokohama, Japan. The meeting was organized by the Human Genome Organization (HUGO International).
With the support of the Sheikh Hamdan Bin Rashid Al Maktoum Award for Medical Sciences, the Community Development Authority has taken a decision, under Federal Law 12, Decree 7 of 2018, to l the UAE Society for Rare Diseases as a Civil Society Organization based in Dubai.
Yesterday marked the end of the awareness campaign for rare diseases led by the Sheikh Hamdan Bin Rashid Al Maktoum Award for Medical Sciences. The campaign took place over a week across the United Arab Emirates (Dubai, Abu Dhabi, Sharjah, and Fujairah) with the slogan “Show Your Rare, Show You Care”. Doctors, nurses, and the leaders of special needs’ support organizations took part in the campaign.
As part of the framework for the Awareness Campaign for Rare Diseases organized by the Sheikh Hamdan bin Rashid Al Maktoum Award for Medical Sciences taking place over the course of this week, lectures on rare diseases held at 24 secondary schools in Fujairah, Dubai, Sharjah and Abu Dhabi.
Under the slogan, "Show your rare ... Show you care" and for the eighth year in a row, Sheikh Hamdan Bin Rashid Al Maktoum Award for Medical Sciences launched its awareness campaign on rare diseases. The one-week campaign is being held in conjunction with the Rare Disease Day, which is an annual event that falls on the last day of February.
Under the slogan “show your rare…. show you care”, Sheikh Hamdan Bin Rashid Al Maktoum Award for Medical Sciences (HMA) will organize its awareness campaign on rare diseases starting from Saturday, 17th of February 2018 and lasting throughout the week.
In conjunction with the 7th Pan Arab human Genetics Conference, two parallel closed-door workshops discussing current issues in human genetics pertaining to the Arab World, were held. The first of these, on challenges facing genetic counseling in the Arab World, was provided by Sonika Sachanandani from the Vlaiant Clinic, Dubai, Dr. Alya Qari from King Faisal Specialist Hospital and Research Centre, KSA, and Dr. Hinda Daggag from the Imperial College London Diabetes Centre, Abu Dhabi. More than 20 doctors and students attended this workshop, where they discussed the importance of genetic counseling and cases that posed challenges to counseling.
For the 2nd consecutive day, the Center for Arab Genomic Studies (CAGS), a center of Sheikh Haman Bin Rahsid Al Maktoum Award for Medical Sciences, resumed the activities of the 7th Pan Arab Human Genetics Conference at Conrad Hotel, Dubai, with the participation of about 500 geneticist and doctors from 24 countries from all over the world.
H.E Sheikh Rashid Bin Hamdan Bin Rashid, Chairman, Board of Trustees of Al Maktoum Charity Foundation, opened the activities of the 7th Pan Arab Human Genetics Conference and the accompanying exhibition, which is organized by the award’s Centre for Arab Genomic Studies (CAGS), and attended by about 500 geneticists and doctors from 24 countries.

CAGS Objectives

  • To raise public awareness on the importance of genetic diseases in the Arab World.
  • To identify disease-causing genes in the Arab population and develop a database of genetic diseases prevalent in the region.
  • To bring together diverse expertise and resources in the field of genetics and related areas in the Arab World and to promote common understanding between experts and facilitate multidisciplinary research in the field.
  • To prevent genetic diseases by providing comprehensive genetic services by translating research achievements into well-integrated patient treatment programs.
  • To develop a center for excellence in Dubai for genetic research and clinical services in the Arab World.
  • To address the ethical, legal and social issues that may arise from novel applications in human genetics.
  • To cooperate with other research and medical institutions to ensure global access to new findings and technical developments.

The Catalogue of Transmission Genetics in Arabs (CTGA) Database

One of the major activities undertaken by CAGS is the Catalogue of Transmission Genetics in Arabs (CTGA) Database, which is a continuously updated, open-access compendium of bibliographic material and observations on human gene variants and inherited, or heritable, genetic diseases in Arabs.  As the database covers country after country in what is the largest scientific effort to define genetic disorders in Arab people, a clearer picture of the pattern of genetic disorders and effective strategies to prevent them, is emerging.

Open Access Publications

CAGS regularly brings out open access publications, aimed at both the scientific community and the public.  The Centre's major publication activity has been its series of books on "Genetic Disorders in the Arab World".  This compilation is a consequence of CAGS' work on cataloguing Arab genetic disorders.  Thus far, four volumes of these books have been published. CAGS also publishes articles in scientific journals from time to time.  Aimed at the public, CAGS has also published three booklets on blood disorders, cancers, and disorders covered by neonatal screening.  These guides contain basic information on the disorders, their causes, and management, along with relevant epidemiological information about the Arab World. 

Research in Human Genetics

One of the major activities of CAGS is to conduct cutting edge research in human genetics.  Since its establishment, CAGS has conducted a number of studies including research on the underlying basis of:

  • Split Hand/Foot Malformation with Long Bone Deficiency (SHFLD)
  • Hidradenitis suppurativa 

The Pan Arab Human Genetics Conference

The Pan Arab Human Genetics Conference (PAHGC) is a biennial event organized by CAGS.  This conference series has been one of the major contributions of CAGS towards the dissemination of research outcomes on human genetics in the region, and it has become one of the most awaited events in the calendar of human genetics.  The first edition of the conference, held in 2006, was supported by the Human Genome Organization (HUGO), and attracted more than 500 delegates.  Attendance almost doubled beyond 900 delegates in the second and third editions of the conference.  The fourth edition of the Pan Arab Human Genetics Conference was another feather in the cap for CAGS since it was merged with the 15th Annual Human Genome Meeting (HGM) of the Human Genome Organization (HUGO) in Dubai in March 2011.  This was the first large-scale event on human genetics and genomics to be held in the Arab World, and was a tremendous success in terms of providing a platform for national and international leading geneticists to work out strategies and set the priorities for research aimed at combating the menace of genetic disorders in the region.

The Awards's Upcoming Events
Genetic Disorders in the Arab World
Award Terms Archive
Random Useful video