Ambassador Yousef Al Otaiba Visits Seattle, Washington to Celebrate the Launch of Non-Stop Emirates Airlines Flights to Dubai

March 2, 2012

Washington, DC (2 March 2012) - HE Yousef Al Otaiba, UAE Ambassador to the United States, visited Seattle, Washington this week to celebrate the launch of daily non-stop flights that will link Dubai, United Arab Emirates (UAE) with the Pacific Northwest.  The new Emirates Airlines flight began service on March 1, and will help enhance commercial and social ties between the US and the UAE.

“In addition to creating new opportunities for Seattle, this flight exemplifies the growing economic relationship between the UAE and US,” said Ambassador Al Otaiba.  “Trade between Washington and the UAE has never been stronger, this relationship is expected to continue to grow in the coming years.”

According to recent US government data, Washington exports more merchandise to the UAE than any other US state, with exports increasing from less than $710 million in 1999 to $2.8 billion in 2011.   

Exports from Washington to the UAE are driven by commercial aircraft sales, with UAE airlines (Emirates, Etihad and Fly Dubai) being the world’s largest purchasers of Boeing products.  

While in Seattle, the Ambassador joined other senior UAE officials, including Emirates Airlines Chairman Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al Maktoum and UAE Minister of Foreign Trade HE Sheikha Lubna Bint Khalid Al Qasimi, at events to mark the launch of the new Emirates Airlines flight and highlight the strong relationship between Washington and the UAE.

Ambassador Al Otaiba and a senior delegation of UAE Embassy officials also participated in a ceremony to mark the delivery of 1000th Boeing 777 aircraft manufactured in Everett, Washington.  The aircraft will join the Emirates Airlines fleet this spring.

Emirates Airlines now offers non-stop service between six US cities and Dubai.   The new Seattle flight comes on the heels of recent US government data that identifies the UAE as the US’ largest trading partner in the Middle East.  In 2011, total trade between the UAE and US was valued at over $18 billion, a 43 percent increase over the previous year.  

This record-breaking trade volume was fueled by a surge in growth of exports from the US to the UAE.  The UAE receives imports from all 50 states as well as the District of Columbia, the Virgin Islands, and Puerto Rico, remaining the largest market for American exports in the Middle East for the 3rd straight year.