The National Council on U.S.-Arab Relations, in coordination with the Emirates Center for Strategic Studies and Research (ECSSR), organized and led a March 9 – 17, 2012 study visit to the United Arab Emirates for the United States Military Academy (USMA) in West Point, New York. The Academy’s delegation was comprised of nine Cadets and two faculty members. The visit provided the Cadets an opportunity to explore the dynamics of some of the major economic, political, and social determinants of UAE culture as well as the country’s modernization and development.
Escorted by National Council Board Member Elizabeth Wossen, Executive Vice President Patrick Mancino, and staff member Colin Moore, the participants visited the Emirates of Abu Dhabi and Dubai. Delegation members met with and were briefed by officials at the UAE Joint Command and Staff College, Al Dhafra Air base, the Critical National Infrastructural Authority (CNIA), Zayed II Military Academy, the UAE Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the National Media Council, Lockheed Martin, and other sites. They also participated in four academic workshops at ECSSR, met with officials from the UAE Ministry of Presidential Affairs’ Center for Documentation and Research, and were briefed by US Ambassador to the UAE Michael Corbin and embassy staff. In addition, the Cadets were introduced to a maritime variant of UAE traditional culture while navigating the vibrant waterfront commerce of the Emirate of Dubai on a dhow, a traditional Arab wooden sailing vessel, and exploring the pre-oil era traditions of the Emirate of Abu Dhabi in its heritage village exhibitions, together with the ECSSR seminar, publications, and other educational activities.