His Excellency
Yousef Al Otaiba

Ambassador of the UAE to the US

Yousef Al Otaiba sitting at a conference table

As Ambassador of the United Arab Emirates (UAE) to the United States (US), His Excellency Yousef Al Otaiba has led the UAE Embassy in Washington, DC since July 2008. Just two years after his appointment, he was recognized by the National U.S.-Arab Chamber of Commerce as Ambassador of the Year. In 2017, he was promoted to Minister of State for his efforts toward furthering the UAE-US bilateral relationship.

Ambassador Al Otaiba has focused his diplomatic career on growing UAE-US ties through economic, cultural, security and philanthropic cooperation. Since his posting to Washington, DC, he’s influenced multiple shared successes. Among these is the US-UAE 123 Agreement, which has been called the most significant nuclear nonproliferation agreement in recent history.

Additionally, the Ambassador has prolifically supported efforts to enhance UAE-US economic relations, particularly in the field of advanced technology. Just one example is the two countries’ strong partnerships in the development of artificial intelligence (AI), as highlighted in the Ambassador’s April 2024 op-ed in Bloomberg. In the realm of education, he has developed close connections with academic institutions including the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University and New York University (NYU) — the latter establishing a campus in the UAE. He has also assisted with bringing innovations to public health via UAE collaboration with US-based health facilities, including Children’s National Medical Center, Johns Hopkins and the Cleveland Clinic. Additionally, he has supported the UAE’s Cultural Division in Washington, DC to assist Emirati students in their academic endeavors.

Throughout his tenure, Ambassador Al Otaiba has maintained an inherent passion for peace and economic prosperity, often speaking on the UAE’s contributions toward peaceful world relations. He has assisted the UAE’s significant efforts to further religious acceptance by hosting interfaith Iftars at the UAE Embassy and engaging with a broad array of religious communities. With these ideals in mind, he has built new cultural exchange programs with institutions such as the Meridian International Center, a DC-based nonprofit dedicated to public leadership, diplomacy and diversity.

Through his role as UAE Ambassador, Al Otaiba has also been heavily involved in charitable work across the UAE, US and around the world. His philanthropy has primarily focused on humanitarian relief, public health and equality. Additionally, he has worked to strengthen cooperation between the UAE and US on various economic and sustainability initiatives, including climate science, clean energy technology and food security.

Al Otaiba’s leadership and his persistence in bolstering the UAE-US relationship inspired the UAE Embassy to launch several new ventures including UAE USA United. This campaign spotlights the strong, and enduring partnership between the two countries. In 2022, the campaign celebrated 50 years of UAE-US friendship through “50 Years | 50 Faces” — a storytelling sub-campaign featuring personal narratives from Emiratis and Americans who have been positively impacted and inspired by the historic alliance.

To learn more about Ambassador Al Otaiba’s work for the UAE in the US, visit the UAE Embassy website.

“Through government initiatives, policy organizations and our own rule of law, we're creating a place where people from all backgrounds, faiths, nationalities and perspectives can join together to learn, engage in artistic expression and exchange ideas.”

News & Updates

Meridian International Center

UAE Ambassador to the US, Yousef Al Otaiba
Ambassador Yousef Al Otaiba was one of the inaugural recipients of the Meridian International Center’s Global Leadership Award for Space Diplomacy. The award recognizes the Ambassador’s significant contributions to the growth of the UAE’s space agency and the UAE-US space partnership.


UAE Ambassador to the US, Yousef Al Otaiba is a strong supporter of bilateral partnerships and advanced tech innovation.
In a Bloomberg op-ed, Ambassador Yousef Al Otaiba spoke on the UAE and US’s strong collaboration in the areas of advanced technology and artificial intelligence, such as through the partnership between Microsoft and G42.

Washington Diplomat

Celebration of the UAE-US partnership in space exploration at the UAE Embassy in Washington, D.C.
The Washington Diplomat explored the significant success of the UAE’s Space Program and its close connections with its US partners, including NASA.

Opinion Pieces by Yousef Al Otaiba

With an extensive tenure as a leader in foreign policy and international relations, Ambassador Yousef Al Otaiba has published a number of forward-thinking opinion pieces on related topics throughout his time in Washington, DC.

“As two of the Middle East’s most dynamic economies and vibrant societies, closer UAE-Israel ties will accelerate growth and innovation, expand opportunities for young people, and break down long-held prejudices.”


Read up on the most recent developments in UAE-US relations and the
diplomatic efforts of Ambassador Al Otaiba and others at the UAE Embassy.


Watch recorded speeches, ceremonies, events and other videos featuring Yousef Al Otaiba’s exceptional work with the UAE Embassy in Washington, DC. Here, Ambassador Yousef Al Otaiba had the honor of delivering his keynote address to the New York University Abu Dhabi (NYUAD) class of 2016.

Speaking & Events

Ambassador Al Otaiba frequently takes part in and speaks at various events, including conferences, educational events, celebrations, and more.


View photos of Ambassador Yousef Al Otaiba at UAE Embassy events, charitable functions and other special occasions.


Listen to the latest conversations between Ambassador Al Otaiba and special guests.


As a private citizen, Ambassador and Minister of State, Yousef Al Otaiba supports a wide range of charitable organizations, humanitarian ventures and recovery efforts in areas that have suffered from disasters. Through his engagement, he’s helped foster the UAE’s long-time partnership with Children’s National Medical Center, the first Special Olympics World Games in the MENA region and efforts to combat the spread of COVID-19. He also inspired the Embassy’s very first Community Soccer Program, which has constructed and restored over 12 soccer fields across the country. The Ambassador and his wife have also established a Goodwill Fund to support patients in need through the King Hussein Cancer Foundation. Learn more about how Yousef Al Otaiba supports communities and individuals in the UAE, the US and around the world.

Ambassador Yousef Al Otaiba poses with Special Olympics participants.

UAE USA United

As close friends and strong allies, the UAE and the US work together to promote security, economic prosperity and a future-oriented outlook based on inclusion, equality and diversity. The UAE USA United campaign highlights the work being done by talented Emiratis and Americans to address pressing global challenges. United for a better future, the UAE and US are creating solutions centered on climate action, promoting cultural and art exchanges, and sharing innovations in technology and medicine.

“In the UAE, the pandemic has taught us to accelerate our focus on technology, to continue breaking barriers in fields like space exploration and to reimagine our education system.”