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 in 2017 he was promoted to the rank of Minister.

During his time in office, Ambassador Al Otaiba has focused his diplomatic efforts on reinforcing UAE-US relations through economic, cultural, security, defense and military cooperation. Shortly after arriving in Washington DC, he helped to facilitate the US-UAE 123 agreement, which sealed the strongest bilateral agreement for peaceful nuclear energy cooperation worldwide. As a prominent leader in Middle East stabilization efforts, his op-ed in Yedioth Ahronoth gained international attention for directly addressing the potential opportunities for normalized diplomatic and trade relations between the UAE and Israel. A normalization agreement between the two nations was announced just a few months later in August 2020. Shortly after the peace treaty was signed, the ambassador made the annual TIME 100 list of the most influential people in the world.

Beyond maintaining regional stability, Ambassador Al Otaiba’s ongoing efforts to enhance UAE-US economic relations have established leading partnerships with US organizations to advance healthcare, education, business, sports and culture. These innovative exchanges continue to diversify the UAE’s economy, rapidly increase bilateral trade, expand investment opportunities and provide job security within both countries. His deep-rooted commitment to global tolerance and religious freedom has not only inspired the UAE Embassy’s annual interfaith Iftars, but has led to ongoing engagement with a broad array of religious communities. In addition, he formally welcomed and honored the Pope’s first-ever visit to the Arabian Peninsula in 2019. “This weekend, Pope Francis and the Grand Imam will unite their voices in prayers and homilies to the billions of Catholics and Muslims across the world. It will come from the heart of the Arab world in a country that embraces and lives these ideals every day,” he wrote in a Politico commentary.

Originally born in Cairo, Egypt, Yousef Al Otaiba attended the Cairo American College and moved to the US where he attended Georgetown University and the Industrial College of the US Armed Forces at the National Defense University. He also served eight years as Director of International Affairs under His Highness General Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, the Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces.

“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

Apr. 28, 2021 The Sedona Forum

Ambassador Al Otaiba attends the McCain Institute’s 2021 Sedona Forum to discuss the lasting impact of the Abraham Accords
Apr. 16, 2021 The John F. Kennedy Jr. Forum at Harvard University
The John F. Kennedy Jr. Forum at Harvard Kennedy School’s Institute of Politics features a virtual conversation between Ambassador Al Otaiba and Bahraini Ambassador to the US.
Apr. 14, 2021 The Hoover Institution at Stanford University
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Listen to Ambassador Al Otaiba discuss the Abraham Accords and Middle East conflict on the Hoover Institution’s Battlegrounds podcast at Stanford University.

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


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 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


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