Ambassador of the UAE to the US


Yousef Al Otaiba Expresses Appreciation for Annual 10k

New York City’s Central Park hosted the 14th Annual UAE Healthy Kidney10K Run on Sunday, April 29, 2018. The event attracted 7,500 runners from all around the city, country and world. Additionally, the race featured cultural activities from one of the sponsors, United Arab Emirates. UAE Ambassador to the United States Yousef Al Otaiba expressed his gratitude to the event sponsors and emphasized how significant the race is to the UAE’s late founder, Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan.

Participants in the event included American runner Laura Thweatt and Buze Diriba from Ethiopia. The UAE Embassy supported the race by raffling off prizes and putting on other festivities including Emirati cultural experiences.

Ambassador Al Otaiba has always been a supporter of bringing Emirati and American cultures together. In December 2017, Mr. Al Otaiba signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with Smithsonian Secretary Dr. David J. Skorton. The MOU outlined knowledge-building programs and future opportunities for co-hosting events. This is not the first time the UAE has collaborated with the Smithosonian Institute, and this opportunity will once again welcome new learning opportunities.

Other UAE sponsors for this year’s 10k were Abu Dhabi National Oil Company (ADNOC), Al Habtour Foundation, Dubai Municipality, Dubai Tourism Authority, Etihad Airways, Expo 2020, Global Aerospace Logistics, International Golden Group, UAE Armed Forces Officers’ Club, the UAE Consulate in New York and Yas TV. These sponsors presented raffle prizes and giveaways at the event.

Although this event happens once a year, Ambassador Al Otaiba is constantly looking for ways to keep the UAE-US relationship strong. The Ambassador will continue to embrace more collaboration opportunities for the two countries.


UAE Signs Agreement with UChicago Medicine for Emirati Patients

The University of Chicago Medicine recently signed an agreement to provide specialized medical treatment to patients from the United Arab Emirates. This makes UChicago Medicine one of seven United States preferred healthcare providers that will serve Emirati patients. In addition to providing care in the US, UChicago Medicine will also ensure that Emirati patients receiving medical attention in the US will continue receiving care after they leave the country.

UAE Ambassador to the United States Yousef Al Otaiba remarked on the benefits of this partnership: “These institutions provide ‘best in class’ care and treatment for patients. Through partnerships and continued collaboration with leading U.S. hospitals, we will not only improve access to treatment for Emirati citizens, but also help the UAE enhance its own health care infrastructure.”

UChicago’s agreement with the UAE adds to a decade-long legacy of providing the best quality care for Emirati patients. The agreement, signed by Mr. Al Otaiba and Sharon O’Keefe, the president of the University of Chicago Medical Center, will see that this care goes above and beyond in meeting patient expectations.

The other six hospitals within the preferred provider network are Brigham and Women’s Hospital/Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, Cincinnati Children’s, Cleveland Clinic, Johns Hopkins Medicine and Shirley Ryan AbilityLab.

In April 2018, Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP) signed an agreement with the UAE that will allow for Emirati children to receive expert medical care. This agreement will also give Emirati healthcare professionals the chance to obtain their residency in the United States and take their skillset back to the UAE once they are certified.

Ambassador Yousef Al Otaiba is eager to see how these partnerships and collaborations will unfold. In addition to new healthcare opportunities, this agreement will also open new doors for medical education in both the UAE and the US.

Yousef Al Otaiba Signs Agreement with Pediatric Health Partner

United Arab Emirates Ambassador to the United States Yousef Al Otaiba signed an agreement with Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP). The agreement signifies that children in the UAE will receive expert-quality care from CHOP. Ties between the hospital and UAE go back to 2010, when the UAE was the first client of CHOP’s global medicine department.


Ambassador Al Otaiba expressed his gratitude for this agreement: “CHOP offers an outstanding commitment to pediatric healthcare and provides high-quality services to patient families throughout the UAE. Today, we recognize CHOP as a pediatric health partner within our embassy and are thrilled to announce that the hospital will welcome the first UAE National Emirati into its residency program in July 2018.”


CHOP’s long-standing relationship with the UAE was furthered by the memorandum of understanding (MOU) the hospital signed with the Ministry of Health and Prevention of the United Arab Emirates (MOHAP) in October 2017. This MOU outlined how a pediatric specialty consultation program will begin to offer educational and clinical services in MOHAP hospitals. Agreements like the most recent MOU are beneficial for the UAE in terms of medical services.


In addition to the agreement signed by Mr. Al Otaiba, both the Ambassador and CHOP have a commitment bringing one UAE citizen in residency to the United States each year. This way, the resident can obtain their fellowship while in the United States and bring their skills and experience back to the UAE to benefit patients.


So far, nine residents in the northern UAE are licensed through CHOP. Not only are they putting their skills to use, but they are also working closely with other Emirati medical professionals who aren’t licensed through CHOP. This means more UAE physicians will obtain exposure to US-taught medical specialists.


The agreement will open new doors for both UAE and US patients, physicians and citizens in terms of care and research. Mr. Al Otaiba will continue to welcome new opportunities for strengthening the UAE-US relationship through collaborations such as this.

NYUAD Director of Athletics Continues to Inspire Soccer Team

Peter Dicce, an American-born lawyer and soccer coach, decided to turn his life around in 2009. In the midst of his life and following a cancer diagnosis, New York University Abu Dhabi (NYUAD) asked for his recommendation for a candidate to fill a vacancy in its athletics program. As it turned out, Mr. Dicce ended up in the position himself. This type of transnational involvement with NYUAD reflects UAE Ambassador Yousef Al Otaiba’s vision of strengthening the United States and United Arab Emirates’ relationship.


This isn’t the first time the US and NYUAD have combined their efforts to welcome new opportunities for their citizens. In January 2018, NYUAD introduced an immersive three-week program for its students called J-Term. Through this program, students had the chance to travel the world and take classes in different countries. Mr. Al Otaiba is supportive of programs such as these, as they enrich the lives of students in both the UAE and the US.


Since joining NYUAD’s athletics program, Mr. Dicce has worked tirelessly to make sure the program has all the resources it needs for its students. Since his first day in 2010, he has taken tremendous strides to see that the athletic program reaches its greatest potential. This includes allowing women to join soccer teams at NYUAD and other universities, eliminating toxic masculinity in locker rooms, establishing a university league, switching from club-based to university-based sports, and coaching various NYUAD squads.


Mr. Dicce represents a diverse soccer team, with 30 players from 25 different countries. Because of this, Mr. Dicce claims that the team doesn’t have one unique style when it comes to playing soccer, since almost everyone is accustomed to playing in a different way. However, he hasn’t let this hinder his team. Instead, Mr. Dicce has used this as an opportunity to preach inclusivity.


From a cancer diagnosis to being the assistant dean of students and director of athletics, Mr. Dicce’s perseverance goes beyond just a soccer field. Leaders like him make Yousef Al Otaiba extremely proud of NYU’s strong partnership with NYUAD. The Ambassador will continue to collaborate with individuals, like Mr. Dicce, that go above and beyond for NYUAD.

First Robotic Surgery in the UAE Results in Success

The very first robotic surgery in the United Arab Emirates occurred in March 2018 at Abu Dhabi’s Cleveland Clinic. The patient was an Emirati woman that had severe fibroids and endometriosis, conditions that are common in the UAE. However, despite the fact that these illnesses affect up to 10% of women, treatment is relatively expensive and recovery time can take up to eight weeks.

Luckily, robotic surgery is minimally invasive and can cut recovery time in half. This breakthrough in science and technology is the result of the efforts put forth by Abu Dhabi’s Cleveland Clinic, a hospital that is part of the Cleveland Clinic Foundation in the United States of America. Partnerships like this are exactly what UAE Ambassador to the United States Yousef Al Otaiba strives to invest in, as they enrich the relationship between these two nations.

What makes robotic surgery so unique is how minimally invasive this procedure is, which benefits patients. Robotic surgery allows the surgeon to make more precise movements, so the incisions they make are much smaller than they would be when made by hand. Since this procedure allows for reduced incision size, recovery time is much shorter for patients. For example, the Emirati woman who underwent the first robotic surgery in the UAE was discharged 12 hours later and returned to normal activities following her procedure.

Although this breakthrough is relatively new, it has a high approval rating amongst UAE citizens. For instance, in a survey conducted amongst 11,000 people across 12 countries, half of Emirati respondents stated that they would allow a robot to preform minor surgery on them as opposed to a doctor. This finding is monumental as the science and technology sectors in the UAE continue to grow and present ways to treats patients.

Ambassador Al Otaiba will continue to support medical breakthroughs that are beneficial for both countries. Mr. Al Otaiba is eager to see what future implications robotic surgery will have for those who require this procedure.

UAE Ambassador Yousef Al Otaiba Attends Children’s Ball 2018

United Arab Emirates Ambassador to the United States Yousef Al Otaiba attended the 12th Annual Children’s Ball on April 6, 2018. The annual black-tie event hosted by Children’s National occurs in Washington, D.C. and attracts hundreds of philanthropists from around the country. The organization’s mission of providing the best care for all children aligns perfectly with Mr. Al Otaiba’s goal of advancing healthcare for citizens of both the UAE and the US.

This year’s ball was at Union Station and was co-presented by Patrice King Brickman, Marcy Cohen, Jean-Marie Fernandez, Michelle DiFebo Freeman and Kay Kendall. The goal of this event is to bring awareness to Children’s National, whose mission is to advance research and advocacy for children. This ultimately results in providing the best care for this age group.

Ambassador Al Otaiba has previously made strides in healthcare advocacy through the partnership between Johns Hopkins in Baltimore and Abu Dhabi. The Ambassador presented a $50 million gift by the UAE to the Sheikh Khalifa Stroke Institute in February 2018, which will be opening in both the United States and the UAE. Opening this institute will increase research into the causes and treatments of strokes, benefiting patients of all ages.

Mr. Al Otaiba’s ongoing commitment to healthcare is also evident in past collaborations with the Cleveland Clinic and the Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation. The UAE Embassy co-sponsored last year’s Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure, hosted in Washington, D.C. At the event, Ambassador Al Otaiba emphasized the UAE’s goal of raising awareness for breast cancer through events like the race.

For Mr. Al Otaiba, attending the 12th Annual Children’s Ball reinforces that improving healthcare is a cause that he and the UAE Embassy will continue to support. The Ambassador is looking forward to similar events in the future that will allow him to invest in his community.

UAE Sees Spike in Female Paramedics

Behind every ambulance is a group of paramedics who work tirelessly to save lives. Such is the case in Dubai, located in the United Arab Emirates. In fact, Dubai has seen a spike in female paramedics ever since they joined the Dubai Corporation of Ambulance Services in 2004. Fast-forward 14 years later, and women now make up almost a quarter of this corporation. On behalf of the UAE, Ambassador to the United States Yousef Al Otaiba could not be more proud of the strides his country has taken to see that women are represented in such an essential work force.

Dubai’s 170,000 emergency incidents in 2017, 20% of which were considered life-threatening, underscores the need for many paramedics in the city.

Not only are female paramedics increasing within ambulances, but air evacuation teams are looking to recruit more women as well. This is because they believe that female first responders already play a critical role in the medical field. Another reason why air evacuation teams are trying to bring more women aboard is that most incidents these teams respond to are far away from Rashid Hospital, an institution seeking to recruit more staff.

Health and gender equality are very important matters to Ambassador Yousef Al Otaiba. Mr. Al Otaiba has been actively advocating for both of these areas during his time as an Ambassador to the United States. For example, the UAE Embassy partnered with the American Cancer Society (ACS) in October 2017. ACS also conducted a 24-hour walk in the UAE called “Relay for Life.” Organized by the ACS, the goal of this event was to raise funds for those who have been afflicted by cancer, as well as their family members.

The UAE Embassy hosted the International Media Diplomacy Programme (IMDP) in November 2017. One of the attendees, Mona Al Marri, spoke about her passion for reducing the gender gap in the UAE. Yousef Al Otaiba was very gratified to have had her speak at the Embassy, as were the rest of IMDP’s attendees.