The event celebrated and featured the UAE culture, heritage and partnerships with the United Sates. The embassy reception also celebrated the new connections between UAE and Washington, DC. UAE based airlines are bringing direct routes from the US capital to Dubai and Abu Dhabi. Emirates airlines began its non-stop flight back in September and Etihad Airways’ inaugural flight is scheduled for March 31, 2013.
“These flights are really bridges between the UAE and the US – bridges that connect people, business, cultures, and ideas. They also make it easier for Americans to discover all of our Emirates as a place to vacation, do business, shop and explore,” Ambassador Al Otaiba explained during his remarks.
The Ambassador went to on to highlight the trade benefits of these new routes by saying, “The UAE has one of the world’s most open and innovative economies. Over 800 US companies have a presence in the UAE, and my country is a global hub for trade and commerce. And now it is easier to get to the UAE from the US than ever before. With Washington, there are now eight gateway cities with a total of 140 weekly non-stop flights from the US to the UAE”.
Relations between the UAE and the United States are growing in the social and cultural sectors as well. In recent years, the UAE has worked closely with US cities and organisations to identify areas where UAE can play a role in providing support and assistance.
This past year UAE Takatof volunteers flew to Joplin, Missouri and Tuscaloosa Alabama to work alongside Habitat for Humanity building homes in those communities devastated by tornados. The UAE Embassy in Washington, DC has also teamed up with Manchester City Football Club to provide deserving kids access to high quality soccer fields and game instruction across the United States.
So far soccer fields have been constructed in Los Angeles, Miami, Chicago and on the roof of a school in Harlem, New York City.
On this occasion Ambassador Al Otaiba congratulated UAE President His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, the UAE Vice President and Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Rulers of all the other Emirates, His Highness General Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed A Nahyan, Abu Dhabi Crown Prince and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces and the people of the United Arab Emirates.
He also thanked the UAE National Media Council for sending a media delegation from Abu Dhabi, Dubai and Sharjah television stations for attending and covering the embassy’s National Day celebrations for their respective channels.
Honoured guests at the embassy’s national day event included top ranking US government officials such as; Department of Homeland Security Secretary, Janet Napolitano, Department of Transportation Secretary, Ray LaHood, Congressman Eric Cantor House Majority Leader, Howard Berman Ranking Member of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, Washington based Ambassadors, distinguished academics, business executives, and prominent members of the Washington, DC press corps.