Yousef Al Otaiba

His Excellency Yousef Al Otaiba was appointed as Ambassador of the UAE to the US in July 2008. He was then promoted to Minister of State by the late UAE President His Highness Sheikh Khalifa Bin Zayed Al Nahyan in 2017. As the UAE’s top diplomat in the US, his position provides a platform for spreading a powerful message of acceptance and inclusion, focusing on the common values that bond the United Arab Emirates and the United States together

Ambassador Yousef Al Otaiba

Over the course of the Ambassador’s diplomatic career, he has been a key driver in the UAE’s efforts to deepen ties with the US. Additionally, Al Otaiba has helped forge important partnerships with major US institutions across various industries. Partnerships have included those with New York University, the Cleveland Clinic, the Guggenheim Museum, Children’s National Medical Center and Harvard University.

Ambassador Al Otaiba also maintains a focus on advancing philanthropic initiatives both as a private citizen and through his role at the UAE Embassy. For his various efforts in strengthening the UAE’s bilateral ties, he was honored as the Ambassador of the Year by the National U.S.-Arab Chamber of Commerce in 2010 and received the Distinguished Diplomatic Service Award in 2013. He was also awarded the Joseph E. Robert, Jr. Prize in Philanthropy in 2015 for his support of Children’s National Medical Center. 

Prior to his role as Ambassador, His Excellency Al Otaiba was Director of International Affairs for the Court of the UAE President His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan. In addition to his duties as UAE Ambassador, he also holds board memberships for various organizations, including the Board of Trustees of The American University in Cairo and the Leadership Council of the Harvard Kennedy School.


A Message from H.E. Yousef Al Otaiba

As the UAE Ambassador to the US, my top priority is to preserve the unique relationship between the UAE and US and to highlight the work and progress being made on behalf of both countries to create a better future across the globe.

Working from the UAE Embassy in Washington, DC, it has been a true honor and privilege to witness first-hand the tremendous growth and success of this bilateral relationship. Together, we have broken down cultural barriers like never before and formed valuable partnerships focused on addressing some of the world’s greatest challenges.

These are the reasons behind the UAE USA United campaign, a UAE Embassy initiative to celebrate our shared achievements. Moving forward, we stand committed to fostering a better worldwide future based on equality, peace and prosperity.

–H.E. Yousef Al Otaiba

Welcome to the UAE USA United Campaign

Economic Cooperation and Innovation

Home to one of the most open economies in the world, the UAE’s strong relationship with the US has helped to establish the MENA region as a modern leader in trade, investment, gross domestic product (GDP), economic reform, artificial intelligence (AI) and advanced technologies.

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Over the last decade, bilateral trade has grown by more than 400 percent. The UAE has also become one of the US’ largest sources of foreign direct investment. Since then, the UAE has received imports from all 50 states and consistently remained the US’ largest export market in the Middle East for thirteen years straight. In addition, more than 1,500 US corporations have offices in the UAE and total trade with the US has surpassed $23 billion. These economic exchanges have provided critical support for jobs and enterprises in the UAE and across the US.

As strong partners, the two countries have heavily invested in sectors such as science, technology, renewable energy, aviation, public health, education and so much more. These long-time efforts have established partnerships with several organizations including the Cleveland Clinic, Children’s National Hospital, New York University, NASA and Harvard University.

International Security and Stability

At the heart of the UAE-US relationship is a shared commitment for greater security and defense cooperation in the Middle East.

To this day, the UAE is the only Arab nation to partner with the US in six armed forces coalition actions across the Middle East and is actively working alongside the US to combat extremists groups and other external threats. As a result, US naval vessels visit UAE ports more than any other foreign ports and over 4,000 US troops are hosted in the UAE. Together, the two countries are collectively working towards regional peace, stability and security cooperation.

International Security and Stability

Progress on Peace and Inclusivity

The UAE has been a historical champion of both peace and inclusion. Even before the country’s founding in 1971, Emiratis have strived to expand their understanding of other religions, governments and cultures. The UAE has held a number of multicultural gatherings, including Pope Francis’ historic visit to the Emirate of Abu Dhabi. Since then, the UAE Embassy has demonstrated religious inclusion through other notable events, culminating in the 2023 opening of the Abrahamic Family House in Abu Dhabi, which houses a mosque, church and synagogue and represents a beacon of mutual understanding and harmonious coexistence. 

Progress on Peace and Inclusivity

Advancing Inclusivity Through Sports

Additionally, the UAE Embassy and dedicated partners in the US continue to work together to create new opportunities for cultural exchange. Part of this collaboration includes the first ever Special Olympics World Games hosted in the UAE the most diverse and inclusive in the event’s history. Ambassador Al Otaiba was an active supporter of Special Olympics athletes during the games, and continues to advocate for the cause today. Following the conclusion of the games, Al Otaiba joined the Special Olympics Board of Directors in 2019 to further promote equality and inclusion for individuals with disabilities. 

Keeping with promoting culture through sports, the UAE Embassy’s Community Soccer Program has benefited communities in major cities across the US. Through this program, the UAE has partnered with local organizations to fund all-weather soccer fields in underserved communities to provide opportunities for kids to stay fit and learn life and soccer skills in a safe environment.

Inspiring International Peace

Al Otaiba has also contributed to advancing peace and cooperation across the MENA region. In 2020, the Ambassador published an opinion piece that led discussion for a normalized Emirati and Israeli diplomatic relationship. His article marked the first time a Gulf diplomat published a piece in an Israeli newspaper. 

After several months of negotiations, leaders from the UAE, Bahrain, and the Israeli government gathered at the White House to sign the US-brokered Abraham Accord agreement. This deal made the UAE the first Gulf state and third Arab country in history to normalize relations with Israel.

The intention of the Abraham Accords was to commemorate a new friendship between the two countries and usher in a new era of peace for the Middle East. 

Al Otaiba’s influence with the Abraham Accord agreement earned him a spot on Time’s 100 Most Influential People of 2020 list. 


Addressing Worldwide Challenges

In recent years, the UAE and the US have joined forces to address the many emerging international challenges of the 21st century. 

Following the outbreak of the coronavirus, the two governments worked tirelessly to not only protect UAE and US citizens but also the international community. During this time, they were also heavily involved in delivering humanitarian assistance and emergency food relief worldwide.

Addressing Worldwide Challenges

Beyond efforts related to the pandemic, the UAE and the US have established a collective responsibility to protect the environment, combat climate change and to preserve the planet for future generations. Together, they have launched several impactful programs focused on coral reef restoration, wildlife conservation and sustainable development. Specific initiatives include the Masdar Institute of Science and Technology, AIM for Climate and the COP28 Climate Conference, which the UAE will host in November 2023.

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