LOS ANGELES, CA (9 March 2015) – In the first ever official visit to Hawaii by a United Arab Emirates (UAE) diplomat, Consul General Abdulla Alsaboosi traveled to Honolulu to meet with local government officials and business leaders, and highlight deepening ties between the state and the UAE.
In Honolulu, Consul General Alsaboosi met with Hawaii Governor David Ige. The two exchanged perspectives on the UAE-Hawaii relationship and possible areas of future collaboration. The Consul General also met with representatives of the Pacific Forum; Pacific and Asian Affairs Council; State Department of Business, Economic Development & Tourism (DBEDT); and Hawaii Tourism Authority (HTA), to discuss business, trade and investment opportunities, economic growth in the UAE and other matters of mutual interest. Consul General Alsaboosi also explored ways to enhance UAE-Hawaii collaboration through new cultural and educational initiatives.
“During my visit to Hawaii, I enjoyed ho‘okipa, or hospitality, from everyone I met,” said Consul General Alsaboosi. “The warmth of the Hawaiian people reminds me of home, and I am excited by the prospect of deepening this relationship across a range of areas, such as trade or education.”
Hawaii primarily exports vehicles to the UAE, and has seen a 97 percent increase in these exports since 2000. This relationship is representative of the larger UAE-US relationship which has grown significantly over the same period of time: the UAE has remained the US’ largest export destination in the Middle East and North Africa for the last six years, and in 2014, trade between the UAE and US amounted to $24.9 billion.
Consul General Alsaboosi’s visit to Hawaii 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.