Profile: Hedayah

1- Name of NGO:


2- Brief & Mission:

Hedayah seems to have been established in response to the growing demand from members of the Global Counter-Terrorism Forum and the international community at large for an independent, multilateral center. However, it is important to note that it also serves as a strategic tool for the UAE government, allowing them to advance their specific agenda.During the launch of the GCTF at the ministerial level in New York in September 2011, the UAE proposed hosting the International Center of Excellence for Countering Violent Extremism. Subsequently, in December 2012, Hedayah was inaugurated and headquartered in Abu Dhabi, UAE.

While Hedayah portrays itself as a platform dedicated to dialogue, communication, capacity building programs, and research to counter violent extremism in all its forms, a closer examination suggests that the think tank is primarily focused on furthering the interests of Gulf states in Europe.

3- Bias, Agenda & Motivation:

Although Hedayah asserts its dedication to neutrality, integrity, and diversity, its actions ultimately align with the agenda of the UAE government, thereby expanding their influence in Europe. While the think tank presents itself as focused on technical excellence and producing pioneering research, innovative methodologies, and programs, its primary objective is to serve the interests of the UAE government. By prioritizing local ownership and striving to deliver sustainable impact to governments, civil society, and individuals affected by violent extremism, Hedayah works towards advancing the interests of the UAE regime.


The organization actively advances the agenda of Gulf states by supporting local organizations in developing programs to counter violent extremism, conducting research and journalism projects, and offering grants for implementation and monitoring. Additionally, STRIVE Global receives support from the European Union, further indicating the UAE’s efforts to safeguard its interests through this organization.

4- Links to Governments/Political Agenda:

The organization is believed to have connections with the UAE government and is widely seen as being supported by the authoritarian regime in order to protect its own interests.

5- Sources of Funding:


The NGO’s websites do not provide clear information about their funding sources, raising concerns about transparency. There are allegations that the organization has received significant funding from the UAE, further fueling suspicions about its financial ties.

6- Activities:

Think tank’s primary objective is to utilize research in order to provide information to policy-makers and establish alliances that safeguard the interests of the UAE. The organization asserts its expertise in developing National Strategies and Action Plans, and its work encompasses various areas such as Strategic Communications, Education, Community Resilience, and Rehabilitation and Reintegration. However, it is notable that these activities align with and support the policies of the UAE regime, suggesting a connection between the organization’s efforts and the promotion and protection of the UAE government’s agenda. 

7- NGO Leadership:

H.E. Dr. Ali Al Nuaimi serves as Chairman of Hedayah and Member of the UAE Federal National Council for the Emirate of Abu Dhabi and Chairman of the Defense Affairs, Interior & Foreign Affairs Committee at the Council. Professor Michele Grossman is on the advisory board of Hedayah. 

8- Controversy:

The think tank actively advances Gulf interests and strategically collaborates with reputable independent organizations. It frequently invites these organizations or experts affiliated with them to speak at events, seminars, and conferences. These gatherings attract Members of the European Parliament, EU officials, and diplomats from EU member states. Through these engagements, the think tank aims to shape policy discourse in Brussels and ensure alignment with the UAE’s interests. Its main objective is to effectively promote and protect the interests of the UAE by strategically influencing policy discussions and narratives.

9- Contact Details:

  • Website:https://hedayah.com
  • Address:UAE
  • Email: .info@hedayah.ae

10- Classification/Blacklist:

The think tank has been labeled as blacklisted because of its associations with UAE governments.

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