Dr. Abdel Wahab Zayed is Chief Technical Advisor and Director of the Date Palm Research and Development Program in the UAE, a project of the United Nations Office for Project Services (UNOPS) - United Nations Development Program (UNDP) at the United Arab Emirates University in Al Ain, UAE. Prior to assuming this position in June 2000, Dr. Zayed was Chief Technical Advisor of the Date Production Support Program in Namibia, a project of the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (UNFAO).
Dr. Zayed worked for more than 15 years for the government of Morocco, having held many positions in research and teaching in the field of date palm propagation and production. He became head of the Plant Physiology Laboratory at the National Institute of Agronomic Research and subsequently held the position of Director of the National Center of Biotechnology. Dr. Zayed was also a professor at the Department of Biology at the Moroccan Faculty of Sciences in Marrakesh, where he undertook research work related to date palm tissue culture, and was elected as General Secretary of the National Association of Biotechnology.
Since he began his career, Dr. Zayed has been a visiting scholar at several universities and research centers in the US, Europe, the Middle East and Africa. In response to appointments by the UNFAO and other international scientific institutions, he has frequently taught seminars and training courses on biotechnology and agronomy. In addition, he has assisted in the preparation of several development projects for a number of countries, such as Burkina Faso, Iran, Jordan, Morocco, Niger, Nigeria, Syria, Tunisia, and Yemen. Dr. Zayed has also provided technical leadership to regional and international date palm activities and was recently elected as General Coordinator of the Date Palm Global Network, which operates under the auspices of UNFAO. He has published many scientific papers on date palm cultivation and agriculture in arid zones and has authored and co-authored two books.
Dr. Zayed holds a degree in Agronomy from the Hassan II Agronomic and Veterinary Instituten in Morocco and a Ph.D. in Horticulture (1990) from Colorado State University in the US. He has also undertaken two post doctoral studies sponsored by the Fulbright Foundation and UNESCO.