LOS ANGELES, CA – In the first-ever official visit to Alaska by a United Arab Emirates (UAE) diplomat, Consul General Abdulla Alsaboosi traveled to Anchorage to meet with local government officials and business leaders. This visit highlighted ties between the state and the UAE.
In Anchorage, Consul General Alsaboosi met with Larry Hartig, Senior Official of the Alaska Cabinet and Commissioner of the Department of Environmental Conservation where the two discussed common visions of sustainability and environmental preservation, including areas of future collaboration. Consul General Alsaboosi also met with representatives of the State of Alaska Trade Department, PT Capital (Arctic Asset Management Company), and University of Alaska Anchorage to discuss educational initiatives, business, trade and investment opportunities, and economic growth in the UAE. The Consul General also met with the Alaska Permanent Fund Corporation, the state’s sovereign wealth fund, and which has invested $37 million in 15 companies located in the UAE.
Consul General Alsaboosi was invited to speak at the Alaska World Affairs Council and the Rotary Club of Anchorage East to discuss the UAE’s emergence on the world stage, its role as a strategic ally in the region, and the broader UAE-US relationship. Consul General Alsaboosi highlighted that, “Anchorage is the 33rd largest U.S. port for trade with the UAE, with total trade (imports and exports) growing from $0.6 million in 1999 to $7.7 million in 2014.” The speech was broadcast on local Alaskan public radio station, KSKA. In Anchorage, Consul General Alsaboosi also attended a Consular Corps reception with Mayor of the Municipality of Anchorage Ethan Berkowitz. The two discussed the UAE-Alaska relationship and their respective economies.
While in Alaska, Consul General Alsaboosi was also able to climb to the top of Flat Top Mountain near Anchorage with Lise Falskow, President and CEO of Alaska World Affairs Council along with board member Gabrielle Rubenstein. In addition, Consul General Alsaboosi visited the Portage Glacier and was introduced to the natural preservation of Alaskan endangered species by visiting protected ranges and wildlife sanctuaries. Consul General Alsaboosi visited the Anchorage Museum where he learned about Alaska’s history and conservation of culture through native artifacts.
Consul General Alsaboosi’s visit to Alaska is part of the Consulate’s ongoing effort to raise awareness among West Coast Americans of the UAE’s role as a reliable partner in the region, and of the increasingly shared values between the UAE and the US. Consul General Alsaboosi plans to visit additional West Coast states in the coming months.