Dr. Abdelouahhab Zaid has built an illustrious career in crop science, horticulture and agronomy, with a particular focus on date palm, spanning three decades. He is the Agricultural Advisor to the Ministry of Presidential Affairs of the United Arab Emirates. He also serves as the Secretary General of the Khalifa International Award for Date Palm and Agricultural Innovation (KIADPAI).
Over the years, he has held a number of high-level positions in government, academic and international institutions. Dr. Zaid worked for more than 15 years for the Government of the Kingdom of Morocco, including as the Director of the National Center of Biotechnology and the Secretary General of the Moroccan Association of Biotechnology. He was also extensively engaged as a consultant with the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), the World Bank, the Arab League, the Arab Organization for Agricultural Development (AOAD) and other organizations. Dr. Zaid grew more dedicated to date palm research and development as he joined FAO in 1995 as the Chief Technical Adviser for the Date Production Support Programme in Namibia. He was also appointed the Chief Technical Adviser and Director of the UAE Date Palm Research and Development Program of the UAE University. In 2002 he was elected the General Coordinator of the Date Palm Global Network under the auspices of FAO, and a year later he was selected as one of the four permanent consultative members of the Arab Authority for Agricultural Investment and Development. Dr. Zaid is a recipient of a B.R. Sen Award by FAO for his outstanding contributions and meritorious service. He has authored and co-authored a number of books on date palm.
Dr. Zaid holds a degree in Agronomy from the Hassan II Agronomic and Veterinary Institute, Morocco, and a Ph.D. in Horticulture from Colorado State University, USA.