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 for the Emirates 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 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 regional stability, 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, New York University Abu Dhabi and the Masdar Institute of Science and Technology.

In addition, he’s built new cultural exchange programs with several organizations such as the Meridian International Center, a DC-based nonprofit dedicated to global leadership, diplomacy and diversity. He also joined the Board of the Special Olympics and has brought innovation to healthcare facilities including Children’s National Hospital, Johns Hopkins Medicine and the Cleveland Clinic.

His 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. In 2019, he formally welcomed and honored the Pope’s first-ever visit to the Arabian Peninsula in Politico Magazine. Since then, he’s participated in several virtual interfaith celebrations during the COVID-19 pandemic.

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.

To learn more about his background and experience, connect with the Ambassador on LinkedIn and visit the link below:

“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.”

- Yousef Al Otaiba

News & Updates

June 28, 2021 Times of Israel
Yousef Al Otaiba standing
Israeli President Reuven Rivlin personally thanks Yousef Al Otaiba for his role in the Abraham Accords
June 10, 2021 Tallberg Foundation
Yousef Al Otaiba - Tallberg Foundation
Listen to Ambassador Al Otaiba discuss his vision for new Middle East on the Tallberg Foundation’s “New Thinking for a New World” Podcast
June 9, 2021 FSCW
Yousef Al Otaiba Website
The Ambassador joins the first-ever virtual Spirit of Hope Benefit hosted by Friends of Simon Wiesenthal Center

Latest Op-Eds

As a modern leader in foreign policy and international relations, Ambassador Yousef Al Otaiba has published a number of forward-thinking Op-Eds 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 breakdown long-held prejudices.”

- Yousef Al Otaiba

Insights

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.

Videos

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.

Gallery

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

Podcast

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

Philanthropy

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.

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. 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.

“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.”

- Yousef Al Otaiba

Connect

Stay informed about Ambassador Yousef Al Otaiba’s ongoing diplomatic and charitable work.