Washington, DC (December 5, 2022) – This week, diplomats at the United Arab Emirates (UAE) Embassy in Washington, DC gathered with American partners and friends to celebrate the UAE’s 51st National Day. The event honored the nation’s remarkable progress since its founding in 1971.
Hosted in the stunning Robert and Arlene Kogod Courtyard shared by the Smithsonian American Art Museum and the National Portrait Gallery, the UAE Embassy’s National Day celebration was attended by senior US government officials, members of Congress, diplomats, business leaders and prominent members of the Washington press corps.
In his welcome address to over 400 guests, His Excellency UAE Ambassador to the US Yousef Al Otaiba paid tribute to the significant achievements of the young and ambitious nation, noting that “no country is moving further or faster than the UAE.”
Ambassador Al Otaiba highlighted the upcoming launch of the Rashid lunar rover from Cape Canaveral, Florida and the UAE’s efforts to enhance economic growth and attract global talent. He emphasized how the UAE continues to build upon the success of the Abraham Accords, which has led to new partnerships and the formation of the “I2U2 Group,” which will increase cooperation between the UAE, US, Israel and India.
He also previewed approaching milestones in 2023, from the opening of the interfaith Abrahamic Family House in Abu Dhabi to the UAE’s continued climate leadership as the host of COP28 later next year.
Ambassador Al Otaiba added, “For 51 years, our country has navigated the challenges of a difficult region, and helped our neighborhood become more secure, prosperous, and inclusive. Within this context, the US remains our most important partner. And we believe that our bilateral relationship is more crucial than ever.”
Ambassador Yousef Al Otaiba's National Day Remarks
Ladies and gentlemen,
Thank you so much for joining us tonight – to celebrate the UAE’s 51st National Day.
I want to extend my thanks to our friends at the Smithsonian for use of this beautiful venue.
I would also like to thank all the diplomats and Embassy staff who worked behind the scenes to organize this celebration. I am grateful for your efforts.
The World Cup is just getting started, but we’ve already seen some remarkable games.
I especially want to congratulate the US team for making it through to the round of 16! What a great achievement!
As I watch the World Cup matches, I can’t help thinking about all the progress happening in the Middle East.
Sure, our region still has more than its fair share of challenges, but let me take a moment to reflect on some recent highlights:
- Dubai Expo 2020, which ended earlier this year, was a huge success.
- COP 27 recently concluded. Hosted by Egypt, it was the first-ever COP held in the Middle East.
- The World Cup is taking place right now in Doha.
- We’re getting ready to host COP 28 next November.
These are just a few examples of the energy, vibrancy and innovation that is coming out of the Middle East today.
And as we celebrate our 51st National Day, it is obvious that no country is moving further or faster than we are.
Speaking of further and faster, in a few hours from now, an Emirati rover will take off from Cape Canaveral heading to the moon.
Once the Rashid rover touches down on the Moon, it will spend two weeks collecting data about the lunar surface.
And that’s just the beginning! As we look ahead to 2023, you can expect much more.
Early next year, we will open the Abrahamic Family House – an interfaith complex that will be home to a mosque, church and synagogue.
This unique project will be a beacon of coexistence and peace for everyone.
On the economic front, we will turbo charge our efforts to attract global talent. We will continue to make it easier to start a business or to invest.
By taking steps to supercharge economic growth, we plan to double the UAE’s GDP over the next ten years.
Building the economy of the future also requires us to be vigilant about the environment.
I am proud to say that when it comes to addressing climate change, the UAE doesn’t just talk the talk.
We have taken many steps to reduce carbon emissions at home; and are working with the US and other partners to help mitigate the impact of climate change around the world.
- We were the first country in the region to set a net-zero emissions goal by 2050.
- Together, the US and the UAE founded AIM for Climate – an initiative that will address climate change and global hunger in developing countries by boosting investment in climate-smart agriculture and food systems.
- Earlier this month, we signed a strategic MOU with the US to invest $100 billion on clean energy projects in the US and around the world.
We’re very excited to continue our climate leadership as the hosts of COP 28 – a role we are deeply proud to take on.
Moving forward, the UAE will also expand upon its role as a regional peacemaker and force for good.
The Abraham Accords, and our growing ties with Israel, are part of this. Economic and cultural ties between the two countries continue to flourish, and cutting-edge partnerships are growing.
This relationship has also led to the formation of the new I2U2 Group, which will increase cooperation between the US, UAE, Israel and India in important areas such as water, energy, transportation, space, health and food security.
For 51 years, our country has navigated the challenges of a difficult region, and helped our neighborhood become more secure, prosperous, and inclusive.
Within this context, the US remains our most important partner. And we believe that our bilateral relationship is more crucial than ever.
Together, we can drive positive change in the UAE, the US, the region and the world.
I wish all of you a happy National Day.
Thank you so much being here tonight.