Abstract View references (37) This study focuses on an essential mechanism of corporate governance, the audit committee. The main objective of this research is to understand the perceptions and attitudes toward audit committees in the UAE context and to extend our understanding of what really determines the effectiveness of audit committees. To reach the objective of this research, a questionnaire is designed to target four groups of respondents: members of audit committees, external auditors, university academics, and governmental regulators. The questionnaires are used to examine the respondents' perceptions as for the importance given by them to a number of factors that are believed to increase the effectiveness of audit committees. In this regard, four factors are examined in the questionnaires: independence of audit committees' members, number of meetings, financial expertise, and size of the committee. Results showed that the most important character of audit committee effectiveness is the independence of audit committee members.