Medical Care & Research
King Hussein Cancer Foundation
COVID-19 Pandemic Response
Children’s National Medical Center
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.
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.
Sports & Community
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.
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.