Yousef Al Otaiba
Ambassador of the UAE to the USA
His Excellency Yousef Al Otaiba has led the permanent mission of the United Arab Emirates to the United States of America since July 2008. He was recognized by the National U.S.-Arab Chamber of Commerce as Ambassador of the Year for 2010, and promoted to Minister of State in 2017.
In Washington, DC, Ambassador Yousef Al Otaiba has focused his diplomatic career on growing UAE-US ties through economic, cultural, security, defense and military cooperation. Since he was sworn in at the US capital, he’s influenced several shared successes including the US-UAE 123 agreement, the strongest nuclear nonproliferation deal in global history.
In 2020, his Israeli op-ed in Yedioth Ahronoth gained international attention for directly addressing the potential opportunities for normalized diplomatic relations between the UAE and Israel. A normalization agreement between the two nations was announced just a few months later.
Shortly after the Abraham Accords were signed, he made the 2020 TIME 100 list, which honors the most influential public figures in the world.
Beyond US foreign policy, his ongoing efforts to enhance UAE-US economic relations have formed groundbreaking partnerships with some of the most prestigious organizations across America. In the realm of education, he’s developed close connections with academic institutions including the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University, the American University in Cairo and New York University Abu Dhabi. He’s also brought innovation to healthcare facilities including Children’s National Medical Center, Johns Hopkins and the Cleveland Clinic.
His inherent passion for peace and religious tolerance has guided the UAE Embassy to host interfaith Iftars and to engage with a broad array of religious communities. With these ideals in mind, he’s built new cultural exchange programs with institutions such as Meridian International Center, a DC-based nonprofit dedicated to global leadership, diplomacy and diversity. In addition, he joined the Board of Directors for the Special Olympics and remains heavily involved in delivering humanitarian aid in both the US and worldwide.
His leadership has inspired the embassy to launch several new ventures including UAE-USA United, an exclusive campaign that spotlights the strong and strategic partnership between the two countries. Furthermore, he also called for the embassy’s very own Cultural Diplomacy Department and universal podcast, Podbridge.
Al Otaiba was originally born in Abu Dhabi and raised in Cairo, Egypt. He is the son of Mana Al Otaiba, former Minister of Petroleum and Mineral Resources for the Emirates, and nephew of Moza Saeed Al Otaiba, a prominent social activist and entrepreneur. Today, he is married to Abeer Al Otaiba, the Founder and Creative Director of SemSem.
He previously studied at Cairo American College, Georgetown University and the Industrial College of the US Armed Forces at the National Defense University. He is the former Senior Advisor and Director of International Affairs for H.H Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, the Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces.
News & Updates
The Jerusalem Post’s op-ed writer Sander Gerber discusses why Ambassador Yousef Al Otaiba deserves a Nobel Peace Prize.
The Wilson Center
The Wilson Center hosted Ambassador Al Otaiba, along with top diplomats from the US, Israel and Bahrain to discuss the impact of the Abraham Accords.
Leaders from the UAE, Israel, Bahrain and Morocco traveled to the US to celebrate the one year anniversary of the Abraham Accords.
diplomatic efforts of Ambassador Al Otaiba and others at the UAE Embassy.
In the wise words of the UAE’s founding father, Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan, “Future generations will be living in a world that is
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
Listen to the latest conversations between Ambassador Al Otaiba and special guests.
As both a private citizen 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 disaster. Through this engagement, he’s contributed to 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. Learn more about the ways that Ambassador Al Otaiba and his wife Abeer support communities and individuals in the UAE, the US, and elsewhere around the world.
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. United for a better future, UAE-US relations inspired the launch of Podbridge, a podcast presented by the UAE Embassy’s official podcast dedicated to discussing emerging issues and ideas of shared interest between the US, the Middle East and the world.