Ambassador of the United Arab Emirates (UAE) to the United States, Yousef Al Otaiba presented his credentials to President George W. Bush on July 28, 2008. Sent to fulfill the diplomatic position with a goal of strengthening the UAE’s relationship with the U.S., Ambassador Yousef Al Otaiba claimed that the two countries share many similarities such as interest in promoting economic stability and advancing peace. Currently, Ambassador Yousef Al Otaiba establishes beneficial partnership agreements by arranging meetings between UAE representatives and other economic interests. In addition, Ambassador Yousef Al Otaiba holds responsibility for leading multinational discussions about the handling of sovereign wealth funds. In order to enhance cultural ties between the U.A.E and the U.S., Ambassador Yousef Al Otaiba established the Oasis Foundation of Washington, DC. Under Ambassador Yousef Al Otaiba’s direction, the Foundation focuses on the promotion of mutual understanding of the different national cultures. As the Oasis Foundation focuses on charity, Ambassador Yousef Al Otaiba sets the example with his own fundraising efforts, which includes donating over $528,000 to the Children’s National Medical Center to fight cancer. Prior to serving as Ambassador, Yousef Al Otaiba assumed the position of Director of International Affairs for the Court of the Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi. In this role, Ambassador Yousef Al Otaiba advised the Crown Prince as senior counselor. During his tenure as Director, Ambassador Yousef Al Otaiba has focused on issues regarding national security, functioning as an advocate for anti-terrorism, and defense. Additionally, Ambassador Yousef Al Otaiba’s efforts to enhance export controls laws and policies have improved regional defense. Ambassador Yousef Al Otaiba attended Cairo American College, which strives to create global citizens of its students. Upon graduating, Ambassador Yousef Al Otaiba enrolled in Georgetown University where he studied international relations. Additionally, Ambassador Yousef Al Otaiba served as an International Fellow at the Industrial College of the Armed Forces at the National Defense University.
This year’s Abu Dhabi Sustainability Week is on track to become the largest gathering on the topic in the history of the Middle East. Emiratis have taken an active role in promoting sustainable technologies through the installation of windmills in the United Kingdom and the establishment of solar power plants in Spain. The country is poised to become an international leader in the renewable energy industry. This year’s sustainability event will take place during the second week of January, and more than 30,000 delegates will represent 158 nations around the world. These delegates include private sector professionals, government leaders, and individuals from non-governmental organizations.
The event will promote sustainable growth by encouraging the use of renewable energy sources, showcasing new technologies and ideas, connecting stakeholders, and addressing the challenges in the transition to a sustainable economy. More information about the event can be found online at WorldFutureEnergySummit.com. Registration is now open.
Ambassador Yousef Al Otaiba, who represents the United Arab Emirates in Washington, D.C., works to facilitate the exchange of business, technological, and cultural relationships between citizens of the UAE and the US. Ambassador Yousef Al Otaiba and his staff have worked with the Middle East Institute to provide the following information on intercultural etiquette for Westerners who visit the UAE and other Muslim-majority countries.
Thoughtful behavior is highly regarded throughout the Middle East. If there is only enough food available for one person, your friend or business associate will offer to share it with you. Elders are respected by being greeted first in a group, and men typically stand when a woman enters a gathering. Also remember to stand to show respect for people of high rank.
The sharing of food and drink is an important social activity and a chance for a host to show generosity, so accept graciously any tea or coffee offered to you. Because observant Muslims abstain from cigarettes and alcohol, do not expect these items to be available in every situation. Avoid eating with the left hand, which is traditionally regarded as unclean.
Middle Eastern societies tend to be more conservative and traditional than most Americans are accustomed to. An observant Muslim woman would not shake hands or have physical contact with an adult male, but would instead place her hand over her heart to show her happiness at greeting a visitor. Likewise, an observant man would not shake hands with a female who is unrelated to him. Modesty in dress is important for both genders. Show respect for personal boundaries by asking before taking a photograph of someone, particularly a woman.
When visiting a mosque, women should display respect by concealing their hair with a garment such as an abaya, a loose-fitting robe with a hood to cover the head. No one should take pictures inside a mosque.
Although dialects vary across Arabic-speaking societies, a few standard greetings are understood and welcome throughout the region. To say, “Hello,” you literally say, “Peace be upon you,” or “Salaamu aleikum.” The other person will respond with, “And unto you peace,” “Wa aleikum a-salaam.”
As the United Arab Emirates (UAE) continues to modernize at an accelerated pace, the country maintains a strong focus on being open and globalized. Yousef Al Otaiba, the current Ambassador of the United Arab Emirates to the United States, actively represents the globalization of the UAE in the United States. A major factor in this young nation’s evolution is its emphasis on education. In the past 30 years, the UAE has virtually eliminated illiteracy throughout the country.
Encouraging higher education, the UAE makes public education institutions available to its citizens at no cost. The country’s public universities include UAE University, the Higher Colleges of Technology, and Zayed University. Notable private institutions in the UAE include Abu Dhabi University, the American Universities of Sharjah and Dubai, Sharjah University, Al Hosn University, and the Ajman University of Science and Technology. The country is also home to the Masdar Institute for Science and Technology (MIST), the first research university in the Middle East to focus on developing alternatives to fossil fuels.
New initiatives are being launched at all educational levels and U.S. partners have played key roles. The New England Center for Children, a Massachusetts school serving children with autism, will establish a comprehensive special education program, as well as train and qualify a number of UAE nationals, to provide services in Arabic. In addition, New York University-Abu Dhabi will be the first comprehensive liberal arts and sciences campus with a robust research component to be operated abroad by a major U.S. university.
MIT is helping to develop the Masdar Institute of Science and Technology in Abu Dhabi. The Institute, which focuses on clean energy technologies, will be the region’s first institution dedicated to research-driven graduate programs. Moreover, The Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania has partnered with Dubai World to create the Dubai Leaders Program.
Previously, U.S. Education Secretary Margaret Spellings visited the UAE in May 2008. The two countries signed a Memorandum of Cooperation, committing both sides to collaborate on mutually beneficial projects in educational reform and development.
Currently, the UAE holds one of the world’s highest application participation rates for higher education. Almost all of the girls and four-fifths of the boys who are in their last year of secondary school apply to a college or university. For further information regarding higher education in the UAE, the current role of Ambassador Yousef Al Otaiba, and other topics, visit the website of the Embassy of the United Arab Emirates in Washington, D.C., at www.uae-embassy.org.
Currently functioning as the United Arab Emiratesâ (UAE) Ambassador to the United States, Yousef Al Otaiba began serving the country in 2001 as both the Director of International Affairs for the Court of the Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and the Senior Counselor to His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan. In addition to his role as the Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi, HH Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan also presides as the Chairman of the Executive Council of the Emirate of Abu Dhabi and the Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces. A graduate of the Royal Military Academy Sandhurst in the United Kingdom, Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed studied a variety of military tactics at the institution. Following his education, Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed returned to the Abu Dhabi and has played a leading role in effecting systemic social and economic changes over the last three decades. Three areas are of particular concern for him: research and education, environmental protection, and economic development.
With his military background, Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed has overseen everything from the Air School and Air College to armored units. After steadily working his way up the military ranks, he now holds status as a General and presides as the Deputy Supreme Commander. While his father was in power, Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed proffered advice on the spectrum of security issues. He assumed his duties as the Chairman of the Abu Dhabi Executive Council in 2004. As oil and energy are key policy issues for the UAE, Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed also sits on the Supreme Petroleum Council.
Ambassador Yousef Al Otaiba serves as a diplomatic representative of the United Arab Emirates to the United States of America. His role is crucial in growing the UAEâs security and economic relations with the U.S. and with other countries as well. Although the culture of the UAE is very different from that of Western society, it also remains one of the top exporting countries for the U.S., with more than $11 billion worth of goods shipped to the UAE in 2010. This country can present many opportunities for those who want to thrive in the global business world, and those who wish to start a business in the UAE must meet several qualifications.
First, foreign individuals who want to start a business that offers products or services in the country must become partners with a UAE national, and this person must own at least 51 percent of the business, if they want to form a joint partnership. Besides this stipulation, individuals must also obtain licensing from the particular emirate’s Chamber of Commerce.
The UAE also offers another method of opening a business in the country. Several areas known as Free Trade Zones, which exist in many areas around the UAE, offer business owners the potential to open a business that has total foreign ownership, 100 percent import and export tax exemptions, and no corporate income taxes for 15 years or personal income taxes ever. Some of the most thriving industries in the UAE are in the defense, alternative energy, tourism, hotel brand, construction, and medical sectors. Those who are interested in establishing their own business in the UAE should contact the Chamber of Commerce that governs the specific location of the potential venture.
The only federation of Arab states, the United Arab Emirates (UAE) prioritizes education, both domestically and abroad. Yousef Al Otaiba, UAE Ambassador to the United States, earned a Bachelor’s degree in International Relations at Georgetown University in Washington, D.C., and served as an International Fellow of the Industrial College of the United States Armed Forces at National Defense University. Ambassador Yousef Al Otaiba also fosters the cooperation and respect between the two countries that enables global educational partnerships.
UAE founder President His Highness Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan believed in educating and training the populace. The federation’s adult literacy rate, 54 percent for men and 31 percent for women in 1975, has grown to nearly 90 percent for both genders. In the early 1950s, few formal schools existed in the UAE. By 2006, the federation included more than 1,200 public and private institutions, including numerous K-12 programs. In 2005, President His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan established the Abu Dhabi Education Council, which enlisted the services of Zayed University to develop English-language skills in four model elementary schools, with an expansion planned to all schools.
In higher education, UAE’s public universities include United Arab Emirates University, Zayed University, and four campuses of Higher Colleges of Technology. The federation, the size of Maine, also supports a number of private institutions, such as the American Universities of Dubai and Sharjah, the University of Sharjah, Abu Dhabi University, ALHOSN University, and Ajman University of Science & Technology. The Masdar Institute of Science and Technology opened in 2009 as the first graduate research and education facility focused on overcoming the global dependence on fossil fuels. Numerous international universities maintain a presence in the UAE as well, including the Sorbonne, New York, and Boston Universities; the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health; and the Rochester Institute of Technology.
The UAE also supports technical education through sponsored vocational and technical education centers, such as the Dubai School of Government, the Emirates Aviation College, and the Emirates Institute for Banking and Financial Studies. In keeping with its philosophy of providing education for all, the UAE guarantees educational opportunities for individuals with special needs through vocational and rehabilitation centers. In addition, a partnership with the New England Center for Children in Massachusetts provides assistance and training for educators who offer autism services in Abu Dhabi.
Executive Focus: Sulaiman Al Jassim, Vice President, Zayed University Uploaded by theprospectgroup on Oct 16, 2011
The architecture of the United Arab Emirates serves as an indicator of the culture and lifestyle of its people. While new construction, especially of commercial and business facilities, displays some of the most advanced styles and products available in the world, the distinctive styles of traditional buildings capture the imagination with their unique artistry and attention to function. Diplomatic efforts by such notable representatives as United Arab Emirates Ambassador to the United States Yousef Al Otaiba foster global appreciation of the region’s architecture.
Historically, the residences of the communities that make up the United Arab Emirates reflected the availability of local resources. Builders in coastal areas utilized such materials as fossilized coral, lime obtained from seashells, and clay, while construction in more inland regions might have featured mud fashioned into blocks. Buildings throughout the United Arab Emirates generally employed construction materials that could withstand high temperatures and stay cool through long, hot days. Moreover, architectural details such as wind towers allowed rising heat to escape structures that often possessed few external windows and otherwise had little ventilation.
Many of the houses in the areas that comprise the United Arab Emirates included a central interior courtyard that offered families a completely private retreat with access to the outdoors. The courtyards remained separate from rooms used by male members of a family to entertain male friends and other guests.
About Yousef Al Otaiba: Ambassador Yousef Al Otaiba immersed himself in his diplomatic career in 2001, when he undertook the role of Director of International Affairs for the Court of the Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi. He attained his current position as United Arab Emirates Ambassador to the United States in 2008, serving as a liaison between governments to facilitate cooperation and understanding. Yousef Al Otaiba graduated from CairoAmericanCollege in Egypt and later completed a degree in International Relations at GeorgetownUniversity.
Institutional partnerships represent one of the most important aspects of a positive relationship between two countries. Thanks to the efforts of United Arab Emirates (U.A.E.) Ambassador to the United States Yousef Al Otaiba and other foreign officials, the U.S. and the U.A.E. benefit from several partnerships in such diverse fields as sports and culture, business, academics, health care, and energy.
As two of the world’s leaders in higher education and technically demanding labor, the United States and the U.A.E. maintain a large quantity of academic cooperation in a variety of fields. Through a strategic partnership with the Abu Dhabi Future Energy Company, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) is currently developing the Masdar Institute of Science and Technology, which concentrates on clean energy technologies and research-driven graduate programs. For more than five years, the New York Institute of Technology has offered a handful of degree programs at the Centre of Excellence for Applied Research and Training in Abu Dhabi.
Sports and Culture
Two countries rich in culture and sports tradition, the U.S. and the U.A.E. have established a number of meaningful partnerships designed to share culture. In 2006, Abu Dhabi leadership and the Guggenheim Museum in New York laid the foundations for a museum devoted entirely to modern and contemporary art. To increase the popularity of swimming in the U.A.E., the American Swimming Coaches Association (ASCA) and the U.A.E. Swimming Federation work together to improve the quality of swimmers and coaches in the U.A.E.
With its fertile business climate and open economic policies, the U.A.E. represents an ideal overseas expansion location for American businesses. The U.S.-U.A.E. Business Council, based in Washington, D.C., assumes responsibility for the expansion of commercial opportunities between businesses in the two nations. In recent years, MGM Mirage and Dubai World came to terms on a strategic partnership valued at $5 billion. Through a joint financial commitment of $100 million, Image Nation Abu Dhabi and National Geographic Entertainment plan to produce 15 documentaries and movies to be released in the next 5 years.
Due to its status as a truly global concern, health care has earned a prominent location on the bilateral cooperation agendas of both the United States and the U.A.E. Through a strategic collaboration involving the U.S. State Department’s Middle East Partnership Initiative and The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, Susan G. Komen for the Cure has developed a number of programs designed to increase awareness of breast cancer and improve treatment outcomes. In 2004, Dubai Healthcare City and Partners Harvard Medical International teamed up to found the Harvard Medical School Dubai Center, which provides top-quality medical education, research, and health care delivery.
To learn more about the collaborative efforts of the United States and the United Arab Emirates, visit www.uae-embassy.org, which features news of Ambassador Yousef Al Otaiba and his staff’s role in the international relations.
As part of a concerted effort to bring recognition to the people of the United Arab Emirates, UAE officials such as Ambassador Yousef Al Otaiba and Lieutenant General Mohammed Al Kaabi, Chairman of the UAE Sports Committee, concentrate a great deal of time and resources on sporting events and teams. This past July, Ambassador Yousef Al Otaiba and other UAE representatives were pleased by the city of Philadelphia’s warm reception of the UAE women’s soccer team during the team’s touring- and scrimmage-focused visit.
Philadelphia welcomed the female athletes during a special ceremony held at City Hall in honor of their visit. Each athlete received the opportunity to meet representatives from the mayor’s office, the Department of Legislative and Community Affairs, and the Parks and Recreation Department.
The importance of sports in bringing different cultures together was put into practice when the UAE team engaged the local Anderson Monarchs, an all-girls team made up of younger players, in a learning-oriented clinic. Sure enough, all players quickly bonded over their shared enthusiasm for the sport, teaching each other different techniques and running a variety of drills. Off the field, the team took time to visit sites considered pivotal to Philadelphia’s long history.
Thousands of miles may separate the people of the United Arab Emirates and the United States, but as the visit wound down, the UAE women’s soccer team and the Philadelphia natives felt closer due to their mutual respect for athleticism, soccer, and one another.
As the Ambassador of the United Arab Emirates (UAE) to the United States, Yousef Al Otaiba holds several responsibilities. Some of these duties include coordinating counter-proliferation activities with global allies, improving economic and other relationships between the UAE and the U.S., and contributing to the success of diplomatic endeavors that are designed to enhance regional security and defense cooperation.
One of the most important allies of the United States, the UAE provides several opportunities for economic growth, trade, security relations, and social and cultural ties. Another important aspect of the relationship between these two countries is the UAE’s continued support of peace in the region through its endorsement of a diplomatic solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. The country’s endeavor to promote peace also includes the shipment of humanitarian supplies to citizens of Iraq, free medical treatment for Iraqi children in need, and training for the Iraqi police force in the UAE.
The UAE collaborates with the United States through significant economic and trade opportunities. The UAE is the largest export market in the Middle East for the U.S., with more than $11 billion in exports shipped to the country in 2010. In addition, every state in the U.S. ships goods to the UAE, and the currency of the UAE, the dirham, is pegged to the value of the U.S. dollar. Regarding security relations, the UAE was the first nation to support the U.S. during Desert Storm, and an official Defense Cooperation Agreement has existed since 1994. The UAE remains committed to fighting terrorism, and the government supports the U.S. forces that are deployed in the Middle East. As part of the UAE’s initiative to strengthen social and cultural ties with the U.S., the two countries engage in several other partnerships as well.