The Embassy of the United Arab Emirates recently announced that it is working towards completing an agreement that would enable it to award a grant to American cities that were hit badly by Hurricane Irma in the fall of 2017. Attorneys for the United States and the UAE are currently finalizing the agreement and hope to award a $2.775 million grant sometime this year. Yousef Al Otaiba, UAE Ambassador to the US, led this initiative after he was deeply moved by the tragedy.
The grant will be allocated over several areas across the city of Jacksonville, FL to benefit as many needy families as possible. Just under half a million dollars would go toward a school board and another $250,000 would go toward a construction company that provides affordable or no-cost construction services. The city would also retain a large portion of it to improve specific parts of the city, such as parks and neighborhoods. The Jacksonville grant is a part of a pledge that the UAE made to donate $10 million to the entire state of Florida for hurricane relief efforts.
“This is what friends do for each other in times of need and is why the UAE is excited to be working with Jacksonville on a proposal that would help communities across the city,” Ambassador Yousef Al Otaiba said in a statement. He is happy that the UAE is able to support American cities in times of crisis like this.
Ambassador Yousef Al Otaiba has made great strides during his time in Washington to improve the relationship between the UAE and the United States. He has supported the two countries working together to solve problems varying from health issues to technology and innovation. The UAE’s support for Hurricane Irma victims demonstrates the country’s commitment to a strong relationship with the United States beyond economic ties. Ambassador Yousef Al Otaiba is excited to continue working to maintain this strong relationship and do more for the citizens of both countries.
Yousef Al Otaiba, the UAE ambassador to the United States, recently attended a meeting in Washington, DC between UAE officials and US Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross. The meeting was held during UAE Minister of Economy Sultan bin Saeed Al Mansouri’s official visit to the United States, and also included the Under-Secretary of the Ministry of Economy for Foreign Trade Affairs, the CEO of Emirates Global Aluminum, and the Commercial Attaché for the UAE to the US. The two sides met to discuss ways to enhance economic cooperation between the UAE and the US.
The meeting consisted of discussions surrounding both the current relationship between the two economies and what will come in the next phase of development, with both sides seeing investment opportunities for the future. The meeting attendees recognized that the UAE and the US continue to support each other with a mutually beneficial trade relationship. The UAE is one of the most important markets for US exports, and foreign trade between the two countries is estimated to support nearly 120,000 US jobs.
The Minister also noted that the UAE’s direct investments in the US market total about $27.5 billion, which in turn has created thousands of jobs. The total value of UAE investments in the United States is estimated to be close to $100 billion. He emphasized the importance of the two countries continuing to meet and review the opportunities and challenges that face the UAE and the US.
Ambassador Al Otaiba is committed to using his time in Washington to further improve relations between the UAE and the US. He specifically cares about driving growth through the healthcare and technology sectors, and has supported initiatives that encourage cooperation between the two countries. The UAE-US economic partnership is fast-growing and reflects both countries’ openness to international trade and investment.
Mr. Yousef Al Otaiba, the UAE Ambassador to the US, recently traveled to Cleveland, Ohio to meet with Cleveland Clinic leaders and local officials. The UAE has had a close relationship with the Cleveland community for many years. Cleveland Clinic opened a hospital in Abu Dhabi three years ago, and the Embassy also sponsored the construction of the Glenville Community Soccer Field last year. Ambassador Al Otaiba participated in a panel discussion with local business leaders and then visited the newly dedicated field. He also visited with Emirati patients at the clinic after the panel discussion.
Cleveland Clinic Abu Dhabi has been extremely successful since opening its doors in 2015. It treats more than 400,000 patients from over 70 different countries each year, and employs 5,000 people. The Clinic is now working on plans to open a third facility in London by 2021.
The Ambassador is thrilled with the success of the clinic. Looking towards the future of the clinic, Mr. Al Otaiba said: “We’ve started with the Cleveland Clinic, the Rolls-Royce of healthcare in the United States, maybe.in the world. We’ve built the engine.”
As the partnership between the UAE and the clinic has strengthened over the years, citizens in both the UAE and the US have been positively impacted. The UAE embassy proudly sponsors sports programming at local Cleveland schools, and the Clinic has attracted even more tourists to Abu Dhabi. Cleveland also sent $600 million in goods to the UAE last year, placing them as the seventh largest state exporter to the country.
Ambassador Al Otaiba is committed to strengthening UAE-US relations through innovations in the healthcare and technology sectors.
The International Institute for Management Development (IMD) World Digital Competitiveness Center recently released their 2018 digital competitiveness rankings. The UAE came in at #17 overall, and was the only Arab country in the top 20. The research team studied 63 economies and quantified the technological transformation of each country over the past year. The UAE earned its spot by implementing new digital strategies and initiatives. This is an exciting recognition for Yousef Al Otaiba, the UAE Ambassador to the US, who has always been a strong advocate for furthering technology and innovation.
In addition to being #17 overall, the UAE also placed well in the study’s subcategories. The Gulf nation was ranked first in Business Agility and fourth in Talent. These rankings demonstrate that the global business community has taken notice of the UAE’s investment in talent to improve its business environment. Members of the research team at IMD emphasized that in order for a country to stay competitive in the long term, there needs to be a framework of knowledgeable people who are equipped for changes in the digital space. The UAE’s strength in both of these subcategories will help them improve their overall digital competitiveness in the years to come.
The UAE’s work toward growing its digital competitiveness goes beyond the country’s borders. Ambassador Al Otaiba has led many initiatives between the UAE and the US to improve diplomatic relations while also innovating in the business, energy, and healthcare sectors, among others. Major companies in both the UAE and the US are members of the US-UAE Business Council in Washington, DC. There is also a partnership between the World Wildlife Fund (based in the US) and the government of Abu Dhabi to create Masdar City, which is a waste-free and carbon neutral city. Finally, the UAE has partnered with several healthcare facilities in the United States such as The New England Center for Children to assist with funding for research and treatment.
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.
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.
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.
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.
As the use of 3-D printing in the medical world continues to grow, the UAE has begun to see the revolutionizing effects in their own healthcare sector.
While many may feel as if 3-D printing is a relatively new and futuristic innovation, the technology has actually been available since 1980, but recently became more popular and widely used in 2009 when prices dropped due to a patent expiration. The technology’s recent price drop and potential to revolutionize several industries across the globe has created a boom in the 3-D printing industry, as more than 500,000 printers have been shipped in 2016.
Through an additive process, 3-D printing is able to transform digital designs into physical, solid objects. By laying down multiple, successive layers of materials, like glass, medal, ceramic or plastic, an object is formed. The successive layers of various materials would be considered thinly sliced horizontal cross-sections of the eventual object.
3-D printing has the potential to change several facets of the medical world. Traditional prosthetics can be replaced entirely by 3-D printing, which will reduce overall cost and wait time for people in need of a prosthetic. Additionally, the technology’s ability to replicate organs will serve as a helpful tool when preparing for or simulating surgeries. In fact, some university students have already started using 3-D printed body parts instead of cadavers.
The UAE has already begun to utilize the technology of 3-D printing in their healthcare sector. The Heart and Vascular Institute at Cleveland Clinic in Abu Dhabi, a part of the Cleveland Clinic US, is one among very few hospitals in the region that use 3-D printing for catheter-based interventions and heart surgeries. Furthermore, Medativ, a US and UAE-based 3-D organ printing company, was recently chosen by the Dubai Future Accelerators program to work directly with the Dubai Health Authority in collaboration to create a more innovative health sector.
The constant enhancement and improvement of healthcare through innovation is a common interest the US and UAE share. Through partnerships with leading institutions, like the Cleveland Clinic Abu Dhabi, both countries have benefitted from new research, groundbreaking developments and innovations, like 3-D printing.
Acting as the driving force and key supporter behind the development of these partnerships between UAE and leading US healthcare institutions, Ambassador Al Otaiba has been actively promoting deeper ties and greater cooperation between the two countries since the beginning of his ambassadorship in 2008. Ambassador Al Otaiba has been instrumental in the creation of numerous partnerships ranging from healthcare and education to security and business. The UAE’s utilization of 3-D printing to improve the country’s healthcare is a testament of the US and UAE’s strong relationship the ambassador worked so hard to create.
Over 200 business executives, academics, entrepreneurs, and government officials convened in Abu Dhabi last month for AmCham Abu Dhabi’s 8th annual RoundTable Summit.
As an official member of the American Chamber of Commerce, AmCham Abu Dhabi is a non-profit organization that strives to promote commerce and investment between the US, Abu Dhabi, the members of AmCham Abu Dhabi, and the UAE. This year, AmCham Abu Dhabi held its 8th annual Roundtable Summit at the Yas Vineroy in Abu Dhabi on October 19, 2016. The prestigious event provided business and government leaders a platform to discuss business opportunities and challenges of trade and investment in Abi Dhabi, as well as identify concerns and issues for those doing business in the Emirate.
The dialogue, made possible by the Summit, allowed event attendees and participants to identify specific government policies, business practices, and laws that can be improved to enhance investment in the UAE and US-UAE commercial relations and assist the Emirate in achieving their goals and plans outlined in Abu Dhabi Vision 2030.
The majority of the event was dedicated to 10 roundtable breakout sessions focused on discussions. Among the many sectors discussed at the Roundtable Summit, the following ten showed the most interest: banking and finance; cyber innovation; defense, aerospace and security; education and professional training; energy, water, oil and gas; engineering, construction and project management; fast-moving consumer goods; healthcare and insurance; hospitality and tourism; and media, arts and culture. All issues, solutions, and recommendations discussed and identified by each of the ten sectors will be presented to both US and UAE government officials and policymakers in an effort to increase and promote trade, investment and cooperation.
Participants and attendees of this year’s Roundtable Summit had an opportunity to listen to a keynote address from H.E. Abdulla Al Saleh, Undersecretary for Foreign Trade and Industry, U.A.E. Ministry of Economy. During his speech, Al Saleh highlighted key areas of UAE and US cooperation and acknowledged the two countries’ growing relationship strengthened by the continuation of successful bilateral trade, economic cooperation and cultural partnerships.
As the US’ largest export market in the Middle East, the UAE is a strong economic partner that produced over $25 billion in two-way trade in 2015 alone. Since the country’s founding in 1971, economic and trade relations between the US and UAE have grown exponentially through strategic partnerships, investments and government policies. Recently, Ambassador Yousef Al Otaiba touched on the deep commercial ties between the US and UAE during a visit to Dallas, Texas. While delivering a speech to the Political Studies students of Southern Methodist University, Ambassador Al Otaiba noted the robust trade relationship not only between the UAE and US, but more specifically the UAE and the state of Texas. As the state’s exports surpassed more than $2 billion in 2015, Texas is the second largest merchandise exporter to the UAE among the US states.
A happy work environment for anyone is crucial to wellness and success worldwide. That is why under the leadership of Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, the UAE is focused on creating a happy work environment for all government ministries and institutions
Ohood Al Roumi, Minister of State for Happiness has created a Customer Happiness Formula that highlights the government’s ability to achieve customer happiness and to ensure the well-being of the community by providing excellent services to achieve this.
The Customer Happiness Formula highlights three main components: employees who pride themselves in providing excellent government services, government entities that are dedicated to making customers happy, and positive proactive customers who are willing to provide suggestions and contribute to the development of innovative services that create happiness.
The concept of happiness is not new for the people of the UAE. This workplace philosophy surrounding UAE government employees is actually inherited from the founding father of the UAE, the late Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan. He emphasized the value of happiness for all citizens and residents, and the Customer Happiness Formula is helping to achieve this environment.
A positive environment is necessary when striving to achieve the most success in the work place. A happy work environment transfers through to employees and, in the end, to the customers and it is a never ending cycle. Whether you are in the USA or UAE, the performance of employees reflects heavily back on the environment that the employees are surrounded by and the UAE government is striving to provide this happiness to all segments of society.
The UAE is surpassing others in the Gulf Cooperation Council market, excelling in the education, healthcare, and IT industries. The information technology and healthcare fields in the Middle East have risen above the rest in job demand, according to the March 2016 Monster Employment Index. With the UAE’s mission to achieve a knowledge-based economy, the country is preparing to meet that demand.
UAE Ambassador to the U.S. Yousef Al Otaiba has supported expanded education programs and partnerships with other countries, including the United States. In an initiative to make UAE youth the next generation of innovators, Al Otaiba has worked to foster partnerships with the United States to support cross-cultural learning and engagement.
While unemployment remains a concern in many parts of the world, UAE companies in the healthcare industry are ready to hire young educated professionals. The job website, Monster, reported that the healthcare industry in the UAE has grown by 66 percent since the beginning of 2016. Additionally, the industry’s ads for jobs have increased by 76 percent. A managing director at the company said this spike could be attributed to the UAE’s attractive and affordable healthcare system.
Some industries with traditionally high job demand, such as the oil and gas field, are slowing down, but many experts say the medical industry is stable. In addition, the UAE is seeing one of the highest pay raises in the Middle East, showing the reward of pursuing a knowledge-based economy.
The future looks bright for young leaders in the UAE who are invested in their education. In partnership with the United States, the country hopes to make that future even more promising with continued opportunities for young people.
As the SAT, the standardized test used in the college admission process run by the College Board, undergoes massive changes and a drastic reformatting, there is a global response to understanding these changes and how they will impact the college admissions process in the United States and internationally.
In order to help administrators and students in the UAE understand the changes to the test, Vice President of US-based testing preparation service, the Princeton Review, Michael Gamerl presented a special seminar for school administrators in the UAE. The seminar titled, “The School Counselor’s Toolkit for Re-Designed SAT,” took place throughout the country in Abu Dhabi, Al Ain and Dubai on November 15th and November 16th, 2015. While the new SAT was released this month, it will not be offered for first time in UAE until May 2016. This gives administrators in the UAE time to properly prepare UAE students for the new version.
The SAT has gone through minor tweaks and changes over the year, but Gamerl, a 25-year veteran on working with the SAT, stated that this redesign is the most substantial change that he has seen. Much of the seminar was focused on the differences on the new SAT format and how students will be affected by the redesigned version of the SAT. For example, the new SAT has an increased focus on advanced math, punctuation, and reading comprehension. To help administrators understand these changes, Gamerl provided them with sample questions from the new SAT and compared the new SAT to its college admission test counterpart, the ACT. He stated that the new SAT is similar to the ACT, but more difficult. The new similarities between these two tests now include that there will be no penalty for answers that are incorrect, there will only be four answer choices per question.
UAE educators who were in attendance also raised concerns regarding the new scoring system. The new test will scored on a scale of 400 to 1,600 as opposed from 600 to 2,400. Many questions circulated about how this new scoring will correlated with the old scores. Gamerl assured them that the College Board will release a concordance chart to help students as well as colleges compare the scores of the new SAT, the old SAT and the ACT.
There is no doubt that the new version of the SAT will impact the college admission testing process, but through global educational collaboration, such as between the United States and the United Arab Emirates, educators can work together to ensure that students will be properly prepared to succeed on these tests.
Over 400 UAE students will be going on a field trip of a lifetime this summer. As the country’s top young minds, they will have the chance to tour and study at some of the most prestigious institutions and innovative cities in Britain, the United States and Switzerland. This trip along with several other opportunities at local universities in the UAE is part of the Ministry of Education’s initiative to help students develop the desire and ability to explore, create and innovate.
During their trip, students will be engaged in advanced discussions and demonstrations focused on science and technology. Information technology (IT) will make up a large part of the curriculum and the students will have the opportunity to shadow and assist executives at top IT firms while they simultaneously gain insights from the classroom. They will be assigned to projects similar to the types of tasks that leading experts and scientist work in their everyday jobs. The hope is that through all of these experiences, students will gain an overall understanding of the daily work environments and necessary skills needed to perform these jobs.
This program is just one element of the Ministry’s goal of preparing Emirati students to be productive members of society said H.E. Hussain Al Hammadi, Minister of Education. It aligns deeply with the UAE’s national innovation objectives and the UAE Vision 2021 plan. The goal of this trip and other educational programs, such as scientific camps and daily learning seminars, is for students to develop essential problem solving and critical thinking skills. These skills along with the ability to innovate and create will help them as the future leaders and will be crucial to the UAE’s sustainable development as a country. The Ministry of Education hopes that these learning experiences will help students learn how to be adaptive and responsive to changes on both a local and an international level.
“In addition to these camps and sponsored trips, the Ministry of Education will continue to fund programs at local school communities,” stated H.E. Amal Al Kous, Assistant Undersecretary for the School Environment and Activities Sector, Ministry of Education. “Special programs, such as competitions and daily training seminars, will help stimulate students at young ages and prepare them for future educational opportunities.”
Ambassador Yousef Al Otaiba announced on April 15th that the Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces, Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, will meet with President Barack Obama at the White House next Monday, April 20th. Their discussion will center on both nation’s commitment to regional security in the Middle East and their joint efforts to fight violent extremism. The White House stated that the agenda would also include Yemen, preventing Iran from producing nuclear weapons and discussions centering around possible solutions to the conflict in Libya and Syria. UAE Foreign Minister and Deputy National Security Advisor will accompany Sheikh Mohamed on his visit to Washington, which will also include meetings with senior US administration officials and Congressional leaders.
The UAE and US have a history of common values and shared interests and their strong relationship continues to grow in the areas of defense, economy, and culture. The UAE fights terrorism and extremism in the region and beyond and their cooperation with the United States includes a range of defense and intelligence initiatives. Both the UAE and US work closely to maintain security and stability in the Middle East and collaborate to fight groups such as ISIS who threaten worldwide peace and prosperity
Security and stability are not the only goals the two nations share. The UAE has one of the world’s fastest growing economies making it a huge partner with the United States in world development and trade. In fact, the UAE is the single largest export market in Middle East for the US; in 2012 alone, the United States exported $22 million goods directly into the UAE. More impressively, the UAE has held this distinction of largest export market in the Middle East for four consecutive years.
Not only has the business relationship grown between the UAE and the USA, there has also been growth in the social and cultural sectors. US higher education institutions, including New York University and the Guggenheim Museum, are working closely with a range of educational and cultural organizations in the UAE, establishing several satellite institutions.
In recent months UAE Embassy partnered with the Meridian Center for Cultural Diplomacy to bring an exhibit of Emirati art to the United States called Past Forward: Contemporary Art from the Emirates. The exhibition is the largest display of art from the UAE in the United States and proudly features over 25 different artists from all seven Emirates.
Considering the UAE and United States’ strong relationship as allies on the political, economic, and cultural front, Sheikh Mohamed’s visit stands to deepen the already immense mutual respect and understanding that our two nations share. There is much work to be done on the global stage, but through collaborative efforts between forward thinking nations such as the UAE and US, positive change can be affected.
In an outreach to the Middle East, U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry met with Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed, the crown prince of Abu Dhabi and deputy supreme commander of the Armed Forces, in Abu Dhabi in February 2014. Their meeting, which also included Foreign Minister Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed, UAE Ambassador to the United States Yousef Al Otaiba, and U.S. Ambassador to the UAE Michael Corbin, focused on regional security issues.
The dignitaries discussed several pressing issues regarding regional security and peace, including Iran’s nuclear program and the ongoing humanitarian crisis in Syria.
The visit was one of two to the UAE by U.S. secretaries within a month. On March 5, U.S. Secretary of Commerce Penny Pritzker visited the UAE on a trade mission, the first by a sitting secretary in more than a decade. Economic and security partnerships are two of the most important areas of relations between the U.S. and the UAE. In fact, 2013 marked the fifth consecutive year that the UAE received more American exports than any nation in the Middle East and North Africa region.
This past March, diplomats from the United Arab Emirates (UAE) Embassy in Washington, DC, visited government, business, and community leaders in Atlanta to discuss new possibilities for future collaboration and celebrate the growing trade relationship between the UAE the United States. This relationship has expanded very quickly in Georgia, which exported $790 million worth of merchandise to the UAE. This figure represents a 95% increase since 1999. At present, Georgia ranks eighth among American states with the highest UAE export rates. Savannah remains one of the most important ports with nearly $1.2 billion worth of UAE trade last year.
During their time in Atlanta, UAE diplomats met with distinguished members of the Georgia Department of Economic Development, as well as representatives from Invest Atlanta and the Mayor’s Office. One of the primary topics of conversation was local sustainability and how initiatives for it can increase cooperation between Atlanta and the UAE. The diplomats also spoke at Grady High School on the economic diversification of the UAE and role that Emirati women play in government, business, and culture.