Ambassador of the UAE to the US


Abu Dhabi Celebrates Sustainability Week with a Multitude of Events

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.




The Role of 3-D Printing in UAE’s Healthcare

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.


AmCham Abu Dhabi Identifies UAE and US Sectors to Boost Trade

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 Formula for Work Place Happiness in the UAE

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.

IT and Health Care Industries see jobs demand growth

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.

Collaboration in Education between the USA and the UAE

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.

UAE scholars to visit Britain, USA and Switzerland

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.”