The Sheikh Zayed Al Nahyan Chair was established in 2021 with the signing of a memorandum of understanding by the foreign ministers of Malaysia and the United Arab Emirates.

The chair will promote track-two dialogue between Malaysia and the UAE while fostering greater collaboration between Southeast Asia and the Gulf Arab countries.

The chair aims to bridge the gap in knowledge and research between Middle East and North Africa and Southeast Asia. It will contribute to the development of policies and provide scientific recommendations to authorities, decision-makers, civil organisations and the youth in both regions.

HE Mohammad Ahmad Al Murr
Sheikh Zayed Al Nahyan Chair
Institute of Strategic & International Studies (ISIS) Malaysia

Al Murr is the inaugural holder of the Sheikh Zayed Al Nahyan Chair. He is the chairman of the Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum Library Foundation and a former speaker of the UAE’s Federal National Council. He is regarded as one of the UAE’s most influential political and cultural innovators, renowned for being a custodian and resource of Emirati culture and heritage.

With years of experience and study in literature, culture, poetry, Arabic calligraphy and art in its various forms, Al Murr introduced pioneering cultural projects, such as the Etihad Museum, Dubai Opera, Sheikh Zayed Book Award, Culture and Scientific Association and Huroof Arabiya, a magazine focused on Arabic calligraphy.

He is the author of more than 10 books and novels, including The Wink of the Mona Lisa, and Other Stories from the Gulf and Dubai Tales.