The 2013 Golden Helix Symposium was organized in Dubai, United Arab Emirates at the Al Bustan Rotana hotel, November 17-19, 2013. The 2013 Golden Helix Symposium was co-organized with the 5th Pan-Arab Human Genetics Conference, the most prestigious Human Genetics meeting in the Arab world. The Center for Arab Genomic Studies and the Golden Helix Foundation were the co-organizers that was generously supported by H.H. Sheikh Hamdan Bin Rashid Al Maktoum Award for Medical Sciences and was under the patronage of His Highness Sheikh Hamdan Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Deputy Ruler of Dubai and Minister of Finance (UAE). Several high profile speakers, such as David Cooper (Cardiff, UK), Angela Brand (Maastricht, the Netherlands), Jun Wang, CEO of BGI (Shenzen, CN), Radoje Drmanac (Mountain View, CA, USA), Ron van Schaik (Rotterdam, the Netherlands), Hilger Ropers (Berlin, DE), have delivered state-of-the-art lectures over next-generation sequencing, pharmacogenomics, genomics of rare disorders, public health genomics. This prestigious joint Human Genetics conference was attended by over 900 physicians and biomedical scientists from over 70 countries and supported by almost all the major biotechnology companies that are active int eh field of genomics research.