Ambassador Yousef Al Otaiba wasted no time assimilating to Washington, D.C. upon accepting the post of United Arab Emirates (UAE) Ambassador to the United States in 2008. The Ambassador and his charming wife, Abeer, have quickly become fixtures in the Washington social scene. Philanthropy, hard work, and smiles as bright as the Arabian sun are just some of the many things the Al Otaibas’ are known for in our nation’s capital.
Humanitarian and development aid efforts are frequently made by Yousef Al Otaiba and the UAE in not only Washington, but the country, and world at large. Whenever there is a national disaster the UAE is always among the first countries to lend a helping hand. This has been seen time and time again but most notably in regards to Hurricane Katrina and the 2011 Joplin Missouri tornado. Locally, the UAE and Ambassador Yousef Al Otaiba have been a transformative force in their philanthropic contribution.
In 2009, authorized by the crown prince, the UAE donated $150 million to build the Institute for Pediatric Surgical Innovation at Children’s National Medical Center. While, there are many causes that are meaningful to the Al Otaibas’, the pediatric center is especially so because it helped save their daughter’s life when she was born with a rare condition that required surgery when she was just 4 months old.
On the international side of things, the UAE co-led the diplomatic response to Malala Yousafzai being shot in the head for openly supporting women’s rights in her native Pakistan.
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In a short period of time, Yousef Al Otaiba has become one of the most influential people in Washington; not only because of his charisma and philanthropic efforts, but also because of his deep commitment to strengthening the relationship between the UAE and USA.