Our Story

The story of Hedayah begins with the launch of the Global Counter-Terrorism Forum (GCTF), “an international forum of 29 countries and the European Union with an overarching mission of reducing the vulnerability of people worldwide to terrorism” in September 2011. Members of the GCTF and the wider international community expressed a growing desire for the establishment of a center dedicated to countering violent extremism (CVE) independently and multilaterally.

As one of the co-chairs of the CVE Working Group during this ministerial-level launch in New York, the U.A.E. offered to host the first ever International Center of Excellence for CVE. In December 2012, the idea came to life with the inauguration of Hedayah headquarters in Abu Dhabi, U.A.E. Hedayah’s location allowed it to reflect a neutral, apolitical and non-ideological center welcoming diverse perspectives in addressing the issue of violent extremism in all of its forms and manifestations.

Hedayah is seen as thought leader in the field of CVE through our dialogue and communications, capacity building programs, and research and analysis departments. It offers long-term, sustainable solutions through its areas of expertise and collaborative efforts with local partners, practitioners and subject matter experts to implement holistic CVE programs.



September 2011

Global Counter Terrorism Forum (GCTF) Meeting in New York: The Emergence of the Idea - The International Center of Excellence for Countering Violent Extremism was proposed.

December 2012

GCTF Third Ministerial Meeting in Abu Dhabi: His Highness Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahyan officially launched Hedayah.

March 2013

The Council of Ministers of the UAE approves the draft law presented by the UAE Ministry of Foreign Affairs regarding the Hedayah Federal Law.

May 2013

UAE Federal National Council approves the draft law presented by UAE MOFA and passed by UAE Government Ministers Cabinet regarding the Hedayah Federal Law.

October 2013

HIs Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan signed the enactment of the UAE Federal Law No. 7 of October 2013 regarding the establishment of Hedayah - The International Center of Excellence for Co

September 2014

Inaugural Steering Board Meeting held in Abu Dhabi.

September 2015

Hedayah announced the expansion of its Steering Board to include the Netherlands and Morocco.

September 2016

P/CVE National Action Plans Tasks Force launched.

December 2017

Hedayah shifts towards implementation of programs on-the-ground, such as with the two-year Capacity Building Program on Preventing Youth Radicalization in Tunisia


With our expertise, we tackle the threat of violent extremism on all levels from supporting governments in developing their national CVE strategies to engaging with CVE actors on the ground.

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Through its four main departments, Hedayah develops and delivers a series of interrelated programs that help accomplish its mission.

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We are always keen on collaborating with various partners around the world who can complement our initiatives and aid with the challenges of countering violent extremism.

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