Prof. Guenter Meyer, PhD in Human Geography on urban development; Habilitation in Economic and Social Geography focusing on the Arab world, University of Erlangen-Nuremberg, Germany.Director of the Centre for Research on the Arab World (CERAW) at the University of Mainz, Germany; Chairman of the German Middle East Studies Association (DAVO); President of the European Association for Middle Eastern Studies (EURAMES); Chairman of the International Advisory Council of the World Congress for Middle Eastern Studies (WOCMES)Starting with my first visit in the Maghreb as a student, I have always been fascinated by the Arab culture. I studied the Arabic language, spent as much time as possible in Arab countries and have always tried to bridge the cultural gap between the West and the Arab world. After more than 40 years of empirical fieldwork on the social and economic development in Egypt, Syria, Yemen and the GCC, which included also a survey on higher education and the universities in the UAE, Oman and Qatar, it is now a great pleasure and honor for me to have the chance to contribute with my interdisciplinary and intercultural academic expertise to the development of the University of Sharjah. In this respect, my participation in the work of the Board of Trustees is strongly benefiting from my teaching of a course in the Executive MBA. The direct contact and cooperation with my students and colleagues is an important source of inspiration and makes it possible for me to understand the unique spirit of UOS.