WASHINGTON, DC (19 October 2009) – His Excellency Yousef Al Otaiba, UAE Ambassador to the United States, visited the city of Chicago, Illinois recently to commemorate the newly launched Etihad Airways non-stop flight between Chicago and Abu Dhabi. It is the first non-stop service connecting Chicago with the Arabian Gulf.
Ambassador Al Otaiba with Chicago Mayor Richard Daley and Etihad Airways CEO James Hogan
During the visit, Ambassador Al Otaiba delivered a keynote speech to graduate business students and faculty at the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University, in Evanston, Illinois. Ambassador Al Otaiba commented on the UAE’s economic diversification strategy and noted, “Through complimentary diversification strategies, the Government of the UAE is seeking to use its resource wealth wisely in order to establish a more sustainable model for the future of our country and our economy.”
The Ambassador also commented on the strength of bilateral trade between the United States and the UAE. He stated, “The UAE is now the US’s largest export market in the Arab world, and in 2008 was the 20th largest export market for the US globally, ahead of Spain, Ireland, and Indonesia. The UAE currently imports goods from every single state in the US.”
Ambassador Al Otaiba with Arabic language students at Lincoln Park High School
While in Chicago, Ambassador Al Otaiba was also present for the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding between the Abu Dhabi International Airport and Chicago’s O’Hare International Airport making the two “Sister Airports.” The agreement was signed by His Excellency Khalifa Al Mazrouei, Chairman of Abu Dhabi Airports Company, and Rosemarie Andolino, Chicago's Commissioner of the Department of Aviation.
Ambassador Al Otaiba also met with leading Chicago political officials and business organizations including Chicago Mayor Richard M. Daley and the members of the US-UAE Business Council. The Ambassador concluded his week in Chicago by visiting Lincoln Park High School, where he spoke with students currently participating in Chicago’s World Language and International Studies program.