In June 2014, the United Arab Emirates (UAE) opened the UAE Consulate in Los Angeles, the country’s first Consulate in the United States. UAE Consul General Abdualla Alsaboosi and UAE Ambassador to the US Yousef Al Otaiba were joined by US Ambassador to the UAE Michael Corbin, Los Angeles-area political officials and business leaders, as well as members of the local diplomatic community, for this landmark event.
The launch of the Los Angeles Consulate underscores the growing importance of the relationship between California and the UAE. At the ribbon-cutting ceremony, Consul General Alsaboosi said, “Los Angeles is an ideal location for the Consulate – especially given the many similarities shared by the UAE and California: diversity, an entrepreneurial spirit, and a dedication to innovation.”
“The opening of the first Consulate in the United States demonstrates the closeness of the UAE and US, and the importance of California,” said Ambassador Al Otaiba. “I am confident that Consul General Alsaboosi will deepen existing friendships, and create new ones that further expand this bilateral relationship.”
The long-standing and robust relationship between the UAE and the State of California includes strong commercial ties, as Emirati and Californian businesses collaborate across a number of sectors, including clean energy, transportation, manufacturing, and technology. Among US states, California is the UAE’s 5th largest trading partner, with exports totaling $1.6 billion in 2013 – that’s an almost 750 percent jump in total trade between the UAE and California since 1999, when trade valued more $189 million.
The opening of the new consulate coincided with the launch of Abu Dhabi’s Etihad Airways new daily nonstop flight to Los Angeles; Dubai’s Emirates Airline also operates daily nonstop flights between Dubai and Los Angeles. The increased connectivity between California and the UAE further highlights the importance of the country as a major international commercial hub and close US partner.
In addition to establishing and strengthening government and business relationships in the Western region of the US, the Consulate in Los Angeles will offer consular services, diplomatic documentation, and resources for commerce and trade. Consul General Alsaboosi will play an instrumental role to promote commercial relationships, enhance UAE-US cooperation and support on the West Coast, and increase cultural exchanges and community partnerships between UAE and US communities.