Yousef Al Otaiba
Ambassador of the UAE to the USA
His Excellency Yousef Al Otaiba has led the UAE embassy in Washington, D.C. since July 2008. Just two years later, he was recognized by the National U.S.-Arab Chamber of Commerce as Ambassador of the Year and eventually promoted to Minister of State in 2017.
Ambassador Yousef Al Otaiba has focused his diplomatic career on growing UAE-US ties through economic, cultural, security, and philanthropic 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 agreement in recent history.
In 2020, his Israeli opinion piece in Yedioth Ahronoth gained international attention for directly addressing the potential opportunities for normalized diplomatic relations between the UAE and Israel. His piece prompted discussion, which led to a normalization agreement between the two nations that was announced and signed at the White House just a few months later.
Shortly after the Abraham Accord agreement was 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 renowned 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 and New York University’s campus in the UAE capital. 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 economic prosperity has furthered religious tolerance and has led to the UAE Embassy hosting interfaith Iftars and engaging 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 public leadership, diplomacy and diversity. In addition, he joined the Board of Directors for the Special Olympics, where he consistently advocates for equality among those with intellectual disabilities.
The Ambassador has also been heavily involved in charity work and delivering humanitarian aid in both the US and worldwide. He inspired the embassy’s very first Community Soccer Program, which has constructed and restored over ten soccer fields across the country. The program also provides free coaching so that kids in underserved communities can play in a safe, healthy and productive environment.
Additionally, the Ambassador has worked diligently in combating the coronavirus pandemic (COVID-19). From organizing repatriation flights to funding scientific research, testing sites and emergency food relief, he worked with organizations such as the Children’s National Hospital and Good Food Markets to confront the ongoing challenges from this public health crisis.
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. In 2022, the campaign celebrated 50 years of UAE-US friendship through “50 Years | 50 Faces.” This storytelling campaign features personal narratives from both Emiratis and Americans who have been personally touched and inspired by this historic alliance.
Al Otaiba was raised in Cairo, Egypt. He is married to Abeer Al Otaiba.
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 current president of the UAE.
To learn more about Ambassador Al Otaiba’s work for the UAE in the US, visit the UAE Embassy website and follow him on YouTube.
News & Updates
Ambassador Al Otaiba Welcomes Smithonsonian Folklife Festival to DC.
The Ambassador & the Abraham Accords spark Crotona Park soccer field renovation.
Jewish News Syndicate
Yousef Al Otaiba joins Hebrew University’s annual SCOPUS Award Gala.
diplomatic efforts of Ambassador Al Otaiba and others at the UAE Embassy.
Inspiring Change: Recognizing Achievements of Emirati Women
Driven by the fundamental belief that women and men are equal partners in society, the UAE has been a trailblazer for gender equality and women’s
Celebrating the 7th Annual Emirati Women’s Day
August 28, 2022 marks the seventh annual Emirati Women’s Day. Each year, a theme is chosen to encapsulate and praise the achievements of Emirati women.
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 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.