Yousef Al Otaiba has provided support to many charities and humanitarian relief organizations, as both a private citizen and in his capacity as the UAE ambassador to the U.S. Al Otaiba has assisted several causes, though many of his contributions have primarily focused on helping healthcare institutions, community organizations, and disaster relief efforts in the U.S. and around the world.

Medical Care & Research

King Hussein Cancer Foundation

Emirati Ambassador Yousef Al Otaiba stands with his wife Abeer Shoukry-Al Otaiba.
There are few things more devastating than a cancer diagnosis. Unfortunately, for some cancer patients, the devastation is heightened by the overwhelming financial burden that often comes with the cost of treatment. The King Hussein Cancer Foundation (KHCF) is dedicated to fighting cancer and providing access to comprehensive treatments to those in need across the MENA region. In support of this lifesaving work, the Ambassador and his wife Abeer established the Abeer and Yousef Al Otaiba Goodwill Fund to benefit underprivileged children and refugee patients undergoing treatment at the King Hussein Cancer Center (KHCC) in Amman, Jordan.
Emirati Ambassador Yousef Al Otaiba stands with his wife Abeer Shoukry-Al Otaiba.
Ambassador Yousef Al Otaiba at the UAE Embassy’s 2016 National Day celebration

COVID-19 Pandemic Response

In response to the global COVID-19 pandemic, Ambassador Yousef Al Otaiba worked diligently to provide humanitarian assistance and support to a number of public health initiatives across the U.S. Yousef and Abeer joined several high-profile donors in funding the Children’s National Hospital’s first drive-up COVID-19 test site in the early days of the pandemic. Recognizing the urgent need for emergency food relief, the Al Otaibas also donated to Good Food Markets (GFM), a grocery store in Washington, D.C. distributing free groceries to local residents in need. They also supported Feed the Fight, a grassroots organization delivering meals to first responders and healthcare workers in D.C., Maryland and Virginia. Outside of their local community, the Al Otaibas supported Chef Jose Andre’s World Central Kitchen (WCK) to assist with distributing more than 50,000 fresh meals to underprivileged communities every day. During this time, the UAE also partnered with the U.S. to distribute millions of coronavirus test kits across the nation — donating over 200,000 test kits and aiding with the facilitation of one of the largest COVID-19 test sites in Las Vegas.

Children’s National Medical Center

UAE Ambassador to the US, Yousef Al Otaiba, and his wife helped support the Children's National Ball in Washington, DC.

After their daughter experienced a life-threatening prenatal medical emergency, Yousef and Abeer wanted to give back to the hospital that helped their family through an anxious and difficult time. In 2014, the Al Otaibas co-chaired the Children’s National Medical Center’s annual ball alongside Bret and Amy Baier. Together, the couples raised $10.9 million – the largest amount ever contributed to a charitable event in Washington, D.C. at the time. The following year, Yousef and Abeer received the Joseph E. Robert, Jr. Prize in Philanthropy, which is awarded to those who give back after going through a personal incident at the hospital.

Previously, the UAE provided $150 million to help create the Sheikh Zayed Institute for Pediatric Surgical Innovation at Children’s National Hospital. It has helped to support the medical center’s mission to provide expert care and support for children, in addition to developing new treatments and specialty care techniques for child patients. In 2018, Ambassador Al Otaiba signed an agreement to solidify the relationship between Children’s National and the UAE.

UAE Ambassador to the US, Yousef Al Otaiba, and his wife helped support the Children's National Ball in Washington, DC.
You’ve built this relationship over five years, given this grant, gotten to know everyone at Children’s, under the assumption that we’ll probably never need them for our own family. When you realise your child needs serious health care … it’s pretty scary – if you didn’t believe in karma before something like this happens, you believe in it now.
On behalf of the UAE, Ambassador Yousef Al Otaiba pledged more than $150 million to support the eradication of polio.

Global Polio Eradication Initiative (GPEI)

On behalf of the UAE, Ambassador Yousef Al Otaiba has pledged more than $150 million to help eliminate polio, a debilitating and deadly disease. Although polio has declined significantly over the last hundred years, some countries have seen a resurgence in recent years, including Afghanistan, Nigeria, Pakistan, and Syria. With the help of UAE funding, vaccinations and medical treatments have been made available to vulnerable children in the countries most at risk of spreading polio.

The UAE is proud to be a leader in the effort to end polio and looks forward to a future in which every child and every country around the world is able to experience the full economic and health benefits of polio eradication.

Sports & Community

Special Olympics

Ambassador Yousef Al Otaiba has long advocated for inclusion and equal rights in the UAE and throughout the Middle East. Taking action on efforts to promote inclusion, the Ambassador played a key role in organizing the 2019 Special Olympics World Games in Abu Dhabi. Not only was this the first World Games to take place in the Middle East, it is also the largest to date, with more than 7,500 athletes from 190 countries — 19 of which had never sent teams before. Following the 2019 games, Yousef Al Otaiba joined the Special Olympics Board of Directors. Ambassador Al Otaiba has remained an active supporter of the Special Olympics and continues to be directly engaged with athletes and events. Prior to the 2023 World Games in Berlin, the Ambassador held a celebratory ceremony spotlighting the Special Olympics organization and its impact on inclusion worldwide. He also visited with athletes both prior to and during the 2019 and 2023 World Games and has congratulated athletes at the White House.

Yousef Al Otaiba welcomes the Special Olympics Eternal Flame of Hope to Washington DC
The 2019 World Games represent a milestone, but there is much more to do. Fifty years after Special Olympics began in Chicago, the movement continues to strive for a better world.
UAE Ambassador to the US, Yousef Al Otaiba, has been instrumental in establishing the embassy's Community Soccer Program.

The Community Soccer Program

Yousef Al Otaiba has been a fan — and player — of soccer nearly his whole life. So when the opportunity arose to spread his love for the game in communities around the U.S., he jumped at the chance. Since 2010, the UAE Embassy’s Community Soccer Program has helped develop soccer fields for underserved communities in major cities around the country, including New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, Dallas, Miami, and Washington, D.C., among others. The program partners with local organizations, such as Boys & Girls Clubs, to create the fields. Through the Community Soccer Program, children gain the opportunity to learn valuable skills both on and off the field while having a safe place to play.

People talk about policy and politics a lot, but being on this field with the kids shows that this relationship is much broader and goes much farther beyond just the policy and politics of [the UAE-US] bilateral relationship.

Disaster Recovery Efforts

Through Ambassador Yousef Al Otaiba’s leadership, the UAE Embassy has facilitated grants to U.S. communities that have suffered from natural disasters. He supported relief efforts in Joplin, Missouri, which was devastated by the deadliest tornado ever recorded in May 2011. Other areas benefiting from the UAE’s assistance include parts of New York and New Jersey affected by Hurricane Sandy in October 2012; Houston, Texas, which was flooded by Hurricane Harvey in 2017; and Jacksonville, Florida, which was ravaged by Hurricane Irma in September 2017. The UAE and Ambassador Al Otaiba have also been crucial in supporting the recovery of coral reefs along the Florida Keys following Hurricane Irma.
The UAE Embassy in Washington, DC provides humanitarian relief and assistance following disasters in the US.
From hurricanes Katrina and Sandy, to Joplin, Missouri, which was devastated by one of the largest tornadoes ever recorded in the U.S., the UAE has helped communities across the U.S. recover from natural disasters. This is what friends do for each other in times of need.