Ambassador Al Otaiba’s Leadership During the COVID-19 Pandemic

During the global outbreak of COVID-19, Ambassador Yousef Al Otaiba has worked urgently with the UAE government to provide medical and humanitarian assistance on a local, national and international level.

Since March 2020, the Ambassador and UAE Embassy diplomats have helped arrange repatriation flights for more than 1,000 UAE nationals in the US. This UAE government operation also ensured the safe return of 733 Americans from the UAE to Washington, DC.

As the impact of the global pandemic grew, Ambassador Al Otaiba met with U.S. Secretary of State, Mike Pompeo to affirm the UAE-US alliance. 

Covid-19 virus

During this meeting, the Ambassador delivered the following message from UAE Foreign Minister, H.H. Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahyan: “As the international community mobilizes to combat the spread of COVID-19, let me personally convey to you the UAE’s support and solidarity with the US during this trying time. I am certain that our countries will meet this challenge with strength and purpose of conviction.” Ambassador Al Otaiba also highlighted the UAE’s ongoing efforts to control the spread of the virus, including one of the world’s most extensive testing initiatives.

Outside of his official duties, Ambassador Al Otaiba and his wife, Abeer Al Otaiba, partnered with the Children’s National Hospital to fund the first pediatric drive-up test center in Washington, DC. The couple also donated to the emergency food relief program organized by Chef Jose Andres’ World Central Kitchen and Good Food Markets, which provides groceries to local residents in Washington, DC.

The Ambassador and his wife also worked with the UAE Embassy to provide charitable support for Feed the Fight, a non-profit organization delivering meals to healthcare workers and first responders.

The Ambassador also personally reached out to thank Dr. Ajlan Al Zaki, an internal medicine resident from Abu Dhabi who chose to remain on the frontlines in the US and treat COVID-19 patients at Stanford Health Care. 

As the global health crisis continues, Ambassador Al Otaiba and the UAE government are committed to working with the US to expand coronavirus testing, advance scientific research and confront the medical and economic challenges that come with it. 

Tune into the UAE Embassy’s Podbridge podcast to learn more about the Ambassador’s ongoing efforts to combat COVID-19. In the episode, “After the Crisis: Investing in a Changed World”, he discusses the long-term effects of the coronavirus with two of the world’s leading investors.

Learn more about Ambassador Al Otaiba’s diplomacy during the global pandemic in his exclusive interview with The Hill.