The United Arab Emirates and the United States recently completed discussions about civil aviation. The meetings reaffirmed the 2002 UAE-US Air Transport Agreement and kept all previously agreed upon terms in place. UAE Ambassador to the United States Yousef Al Otaiba led the discussions, and he was very pleased with the outcome.
“All the terms and provisions of the Air Transport Agreement including Fifth Freedom rights remain fully in place, with UAE and US airlines free to continue to add and adjust routes and services,” said Ambassador Al Otaiba.
At the end of the meeting, both parties signed a Record of Discussion, reaffirming that airlines have the same rights as before under the ATA. The UAE also added that their airlines have always been in full compliance with the terms of the agreement.
Fifth Freedom Rights refer to the ability of airlines to fly between foreign countries as part of a multi-stop trip from their own country. FedEx, a US-based company, takes full advantage of these rights and currently has a regional hub in Dubai.
The UAE is proud to have two airlines in the United States, Emirates and Etihad Airways, that serve 12 US gateways with over 100 flights a week. These flights have generated billions of dollars of revenue for both the UAE and US economies. In fact, UAE airlines are the largest non-US purchasers of US commercial aircrafts. In addition to the economic benefit of the flights, aviation has also promoted diplomatic relations between the two countries.
Ambassador Al Otaiba has always been a strong proponent of the UAE and the US working together. His time in Washington is often spent finding new ways for the two countries to collaborate, usually in the fields of science and technology or business.
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.