Ambassador Yousef Al Otaiba

UAE Ambassador to the United States

Yousef Al Otaiba has served as Ambassador of the United Arab Emirates (UAE) to the United States (US), since taking up his post in Washington, DC in 2008. In 2017, he was promoted to Minister of State for his role in successfully strengthening the relationship between the UAE and US.


Over the course of his career, Ambassador Yousef Al Otaiba has dedicated himself to the advancement of the UAE–US partnership and the countries’ shared commitment to promoting education, cultural diversity, equality and inclusion, andempowering the next generation of leaders. With this future-oriented outlook, Ambassador Al Otaiba has assisted with thedevelopment of cultural exchange programs, such as his work with the UAE USA United campaign. The campaign emphasizes these shared values and goals by highlighting initiatives aimed at creating economic prosperity and addressing international challenges surrounding sustainability and security.  


As a leading voice for regional stability, Yousef Al Otaiba has also made remarkable progress in promoting peace across the Middle East. In 2020, he found himself at the center of the UAE–Israel normalization deal after writing an opinion piece in the Yedioth Ahronoth calling for bettering diplomatic alliances in the MENA region. With the support of the US government, this publication led to the White House signing of the Abraham Accords and Al Otaiba gaining a spot on the annual TIME:100 list that same year.


A year after its signing, Ambassador Al Otaiba spoke at the Sedona Forum hosted by the McCain Institute, examining the impact of the Abraham Accords. During his session, Al Otaiba discussed how the Accords have opened up opportunities for furthering economic development across the MENA region while enhancing understanding between Emiratis and Israelis. In the years following, he has given an annual address on the progress being made as a result of the Accords.


Ambassador Al Otaiba has worked with the UAE Embassy in Washington, DC to promote cooperation in security, business, culture, climate action, innovation, humanitarian relief and philanthropy. He has also been instrumental in coordinating partnerships that encourage prominent US organizations to establish a presence in the UAE. One such example includes the Cleveland Clinic, which now has a facility in the UAE national capital. Al Otaiba’s diplomatic efforts have also helped to further the region’s strong relationship with the Special Olympics, Children’s National Medical Center and the Meridian International Center.


Yousef Al Otaiba has dedicated his time and resources to various philanthropic organizations both as a private citizen and through his ambassadorship. His philanthropic work has specifically aided causes surrounding public health, disaster relief and community engagement both in the US and internationally. From pledging $150 million toward eradicating polio on behalf of the UAE Embassy to constructing soccer fields through the Community Soccer Program, the Ambassador has worked diligently to support those in need.


Prior to holding his position as Emirati Ambassador, Al Otaiba studied at Cairo American College in Egypt. After moving to Washington, DC he attended Georgetown University and the Industrial College of the US Armed Forces at the National Defense University. He then began his diplomatic career serving as Senior Advisor and Director of International Affairs for H.H Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, the current president of the UAE.