His Excellency
Yousef Al Otaiba

Ambassador of the UAE to the USA

Yousef Al Otaiba sitting at a conference table

His Excellency Yousef Al Otaiba has led the United Arab Emirates (UAE) Embassy in Washington, D.C. 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-U.S. bilateral relationship.

As Ambassador of the UAE to the U.S., Yousef Al Otaiba has focused his diplomatic career on growing UAE-U.S. ties through economic, cultural, security and philanthropic cooperation. Since being sworn in at the U.S. capital, he’s influenced several shared successes including the U.S.-UAE 123 agreement, the strongest nuclear nonproliferation agreement in recent history.

Additionally, the Ambassador has led efforts to enhance UAE-U.S. economic relations, forming groundbreaking partnerships with some of the most renowned organizations across America. 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 — the latter establishing a campus in the UAE capital. He has also assisted with bringing innovations to public health through UAE-U.S. collaboration with healthcare facilities including Children’s National Medical Center, Johns Hopkins and the Cleveland Clinic. Also, he has supported the UAE’s Cultural Division in Washington, D.C. 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 coexistence. He has assisted the UAE’s larger goal of furthering religious tolerance 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 D.C.-based nonprofit organization 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 U.S. 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 U.S. on various sustainability issues, including climate science, clean energy technology and food security.

Al Otaiba’s leadership and his persistence in bolstering the UAE-U.S. relationship inspired the UAE Embassy to launch several new ventures including UAE USA United. This embassy-sponsored campaign spotlights the strong and strategic partnership between the two countries. In 2022, the campaign celebrated 50 years of UAE-U.S. friendship through “50 Years | 50 Faces” — a storytelling sub-campaign, which features personal narratives from both 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 U.S., 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

Science & Diplomacy

Photo of Yousef Al Otaiba, UAE Ambassador to the U.S.
In an interview with Science & Diplomacy, Ambassador Yousef Al Otaiba discussed the close cooperation between the two countries on climate science and clean energy technology.

Gulf Today

Wind turbines generating clean energy in the UAE.
Ambassador Yousef Al Otaiba and UAE President H.H. Sheikh Mohamed Bin Zayed Al Nahyan met foreign leaders at COP28, held in the UAE. Issues of mutual interest were discussed.

UAE Embassy in D.C.

The UAE Embassy hosted a live video call and audience Q&A with UAE and US astronauts aboard the International Space Station (ISS). The event was co-hosted by Ambassador Yousef Al Otaiba.

Opinion Pieces by Yousef Al Otaiba

With an extensive tenure as a modern 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-U.S. 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 his 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. He also inspired the embassy’s very first Community Soccer Program, which has constructed and restored over twelve soccer fields across the country. The Ambassador and his wife Abeer have also established a Goodwill Fund to support patients in need at the King Hussein Cancer Center. Learn more about how Yousef Al Otaiba supports communities and individuals in the UAE, the U.S. and elsewhere 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 U.S. 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 both countries to address pressing challenges. United for a better future, Emiratis and Americans have teamed up to create solutions for climate action, promoting culture 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.”