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.
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.
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.
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.
The Times Higher Education’s Arab World University Rankings 2018 has just announced that Khalifa University of Science and Technology was ranked second out of 31 universities, while the United Arab Emirates University was ranked fifth. In addition to this, The American University of Sharjah and the University of Sharjah both made top 15. This accomplishment reflects The United Arab Emirates’ efforts to push for higher education, an issue that UAE Ambassador to the United States Yousef Al Otaiba is passionate about.
The rankings released by Times Higher Education highlight the importance the UAE places on education. A direct result of the UAE’s efforts is partnerships with other nations that enrich the experiences of students in this country and others. An example of one of these partnerships is with New York University Abu Dhabi and New York University. In January 2018, students from NYUAD spent three weeks traveling to other countries to partake in classes offered abroad. This partnership allowed for students to learn beyond the classroom by taking in and experiencing other cultures.
The efforts put forth by the UAE to strengthen education through partnerships doesn’t stop here. More recently, the UAE partnered with the USA’s Smithsonian Institution to introduce knowledge-building programs. These programs include distance mentoring, training workshops, internships, and fellowships. More specifically, the two countries have been working together to issue academic articles, creating partnerships for exhibits, issuing academic articles, co-hosting events, and conducting research.
The UAE will continue to invest in education through partnerships for students attending its many universities. On behalf of his country, UAE Ambassador to the United States, Yousef Al Otaiba is excited to see how these partnerships will continue to advance international ties.
On October 19, 2017, the UAE embassy partnered with the American Cancer Society (ACS) to celebrate the release of the inaugural edition of The Cancer Atlas in Arabic. The event also included a panel discussion which highlighted how the UAE plans to develop healthcare systems and public health initiatives in the UAE.
The Cancer Atlas is an extensive guide that incorporates research from hundreds of countries, in efforts to outline the global cancer landscape. The Cancer Atlas is used by professionals, patients, and the general public to educate people about recent findings and to promote cancer prevention and control worldwide.
UAE Ambassador Yousef Al Otaiba stresses the importance of partnering with global institutions such as the ACS to help inform the public and raise funds to fight against cancer. In addition to partnering with other organizations here in the United States, Ambassador Al Otaiba ensures efforts to stand against cancer are being made in the UAE as well.
This November, “Relay for Life”, a 24-hour walk to raise funds that support cancer patients and their families, will take place in the UAE. This event is being organized by the ACS in collaboration with Sharjah- based Friends of Cancer Patients (FoCP) Society. FoCP is a non-profit organization located in the Emirate of Sharjah. FoCP is committed to raising cancer awareness as well as providing medical assistance to improve lives of those affected by cancer.
The ambassador will continue to forge strong relationships between the UAE and US healthcare institutions to provide the best possible healthcare initiatives for UAE citizens.
Tens of thousands of people from 170 different countries recently convened in Abu Dhabi to partake in Abu Dhabi Sustainability Week 2017 events.
Taking place January 12 – 21, Abu Dhabi Sustainability Week 2017 was the country’s first major international gathering of the year. Now in its 10th year, the global platform is a government initiative that has grown to become the largest gathering on sustainability in the Middle East. With the global population estimated at 9 billion by 2050, ADSW was established to promote collaborative thinking and development to accelerate the sustainable solutions needed to support this rapid economic and population growth.
This year, ADSW hosted several signature events like World Future Energy Summit, International Water Summit, EcoWASTE and many more. World leaders, policy makers, experts, business leaders, academics and scientists traveled far and wide to come to Abu Dhabi to discuss, debate and address the energy and sustainability challenges of the future. Each ADSW official event had a slightly different profile. For example, the World Future Energy Summit addressed advancement of future energy and clean technology while the International Water Summit promoted water sustainability in arid regions. And while each event ranged in focus, the overall theme of the week’s events revolved around sustainability.
The UAE has been promoting the use of clean energy and a sustainable future for the last decade. With a desire to ensure sustainable development and preservation of the environment, the UAE government has launched the UAE Vision 2021 National Agenda. UAE Vision 2021 acts as the country’s national agenda and focuses on improving the quality of air, preserving water resources and increasing the contribution of clean energy.
In the US, Ambassador Yousef Al Otaiba has been promoting a similar message regarding sustainable development and the use of clean energy. In fact, the preservation of the environment is a key area of bilateral cooperation and a common interest that unites the US and UAE. As the UAE ambassador to the US, Ambassador Al Otaiba has been instrumental the establishment of strategic partnerships between the US and UAE that aid both countries in their efforts to create a sustainable future for the world.