Located in Abu Dhabi, the largest of the seven emirates of which the United Arab Emirates (UAE) is comprised, Saadiyat Island (meaning “island of happiness”) will be home to a cultural district rivaling that of many of the world’s major cities upon its completion.
Planned cultural attractions include eight museums, which will be designed by some of the world’s most prominent architects: a new branch of the Louvre (the first to open outside of France); the Sheikh Zayed National Museum, which will be designed by Foster+Partners to house galleries dedicated to the rich cultural heritage of the UAE; and a Guggenheim museum designed by Frank Gehry which, at 320,000 square feet, will be the largest Guggenheim museum in the world.
The cultural district of Saadiyat Island will also house a maritime museum, exhibition space with room for 19 exhibits, and a performing arts center. When it is complete, Saadiyat Island will be the site of numerous educational, sporting, leisure, and residential facilities, including New York University Abu Dhabi, which will provide up to 2,000 students from the UAE and other Middle Eastern countries with quality undergraduate and graduate educational opportunities.
The United Arab Emirates (UAE) celebrates its National Day, a holiday that marks the 1971 formal nationalization and federal unification of the seven emirates that compose the UAE, on December 2. Every year, National Day festivities and events take place across the UAE, usually for at least two days, sometimes longer.
To commemorate the 42nd National Day of the UAE in December of 2013, Ambassador Yousef Al Otaiba hosted a special reception at the UAE Embassy in Washington, DC. Intended to recognize the growth and progress of the UAE and celebrate philanthropic and cultural partnerships between the UAE and the US, the event highlighted the important work of some of the country’s key US-based partners.
Organizations, such as the Children’s National Medical Center and the Hurricane Sandy New Jersey Relief Fund, are currently making advances in health care, disaster relief, childhood education, and community development, thanks in part to the support of the UAE. In his reception remarks, Ambassador Yousef Al Otaiba noted that these philanthropic relationships are a reflection of the strong bilateral connection and friendship shared by the US and the UAE and a testament to the charitable legacy of Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan, the first president of the UAE.
Hundreds of guests attended the reception, including senior US government officials; community organization representatives; Washington, DC, diplomatic corps members; and other ambassadors.
Ambassador of the United Arab Emirates to the United States of America Yousef Al Otaiba has many duties. In addition to deepening security ties between the United States and the U.A.E., Ambassador Yousef Al Otaiba has been tasked with helping entities in the two countries find new ways to cooperate economically.
The ambassador’s efforts include arranging visits to regions around the United States for embassy personnel. In July 2013, one such trip brought several embassy officials to Nashville, Tennessee, where they met with leaders in business and government to talk about ways in which Tennessee and the U.A.E. could cooperate economically.
Tennessee’s exports to the U.A.E., which include automotive parts, medical equipment, and aerospace products, have been growing rapidly over the past decade, and the state currently ranks 11th in the United States in terms of exports to the Middle Eastern nation. Embassy officials talked with the commissioner of the Tennessee Department of Economic and Community Development as well as with leaders from the Nashville Health Care Council and the Nashville Area Chamber of Commerce during their trip.
Based in Washington, D.C., the United Arab Emirates Ambassador to the United States, Yousef Al Otaiba, helps to build relationships with various businesses and nonprofit organizations across America, representing the UAE’s various economic and cross-cultural interests. Over the past several years, Ambassador Yousef Al Otaiba and his colleagues at the embassy have sought and obtained partnerships with a number of key humanitarian groups in Washington, D.C., and beyond, ranging from health care to disaster relief. Today, the UAE enjoys a partnership with Children’s National Medical Center, a leading children’s hospital in Washington, D.C., known for its breadth of pediatric services. Alongside UAE charity Zayed Giving, Children’s National Medical Center established a mobile clinic in Abu Dhabi in 2008 to screen for, prevent, and treat a number of childhood illnesses. In addition to the mobile clinic, Children’s National maintains a medical office in Abu Dhabi that provides continuing medical education courses for physicians in the Gulf region and aims to improve the state of pediatric health care in other Middle Eastern countries.
Earlier this year, Emirates Airlines announced it would begin flying between Washington, D.C., and Dubai beginning in September. With the addition of this route, Emirates Airlines now offers seven nonstop flights between Dubai and major American cities, including Dallas and Seattle.
Yousef Al Otaiba, the Ambassador of the United Arab Emirates, expressed a positive response to the news. He indicated that the route will facilitate increased trade between the UAE and the United States and cited the fact that more than 800 American firms maintain offices in Dubai and the UAE as a whole. In addition, the UAE and the United States engaged in more than $18 billion worth of trade last year, an increase of more than 43 percent from 2010.
For the past four years, Yousef Al Otaiba has represented the United Arab Emirates (UAE) as the country’s Ambassador to the United States. Previously, he contributed as Director of International Affairs for the Court of the Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi. Ambassador Yousef Al Otaiba frequently travels in the United States, working to strengthen ties and increase awareness of the positive efforts of his nation and its citizens.
Recently, Dubai submitted an application to host Expo 2020, an international event that lasts for six months and occurs every five years. The city proposes the theme “Connecting Minds, Creating the Future,” which highlights the positive effects of people and countries working together to advance humankind.
Dubai’s application remains significant because no Middle Eastern, African, or South Asian nation has yet hosted an exposition of this kind. The bid includes a conference center located on 438 hectares on Dubai’s southwestern edge, as well as a world-class airport equipped to provide logistical support to participating nations. Following the event, the conference center will possess the ability to host other international and industry gatherings.
The United Arab Emirates is making many advances in education, foreign policy, the economy, and more, thanks to the efforts of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, President of the UAE, and other key figures in the countryâs government. Yousef Al Otaiba, the UAE Ambassador to the United States, promotes strong ties between the two nations with political, educational, and cultural partnerships. Ambassador Al Otaiba and the Embassy also raise awareness of charitable initiatives such as Dubai Cares.
Dubai Cares is one of the latest efforts put forth by Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, the UAEâs current Prime Minister and Vice President, and ruler of Dubai. The organizationâs focus is on improving access to the highest quality of education for children in developing countries, and is now largest nongovernmental organization (NGO) dedicated to this goal. Dubai Cares envisions a world where all children go to school. To realize this vision, Dubai Cares operates on seven key principles, which include the recognition that education is the best solution to poverty. Dubai Cares programs address four key areas: water, sanitation, and hygiene; school infrastructure; school health and nutrition; and quality of education.
Dubai Cares assists developing countries with establishing permanent institutions of learning and fostering safe environments for learning. Dubai Cares both builds and remodels schools, creating sanitary bathrooms, installing new furniture, and providing necessary supplies, as well as training and providing support for teachers. Dubai Cares also recognizes the importance of quality nutrition in increasing childrenâs abilities to learn. The organization works with school administrators to ensure effective meal programs, which provide essential nutrients and energy and alleviate the burdens of struggling parents.