U.A.E. Ambassador Lauds Strong Ties with Texas, U.S. Ahead of Flight Launch

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U.S.-U.A.E. Business Council and the World Affairs Council of Dallas/Fort Worth host U.A.E. Ambassador to the U.S.

(Dallas/Fort Worth, Texas) — The U.S.-U.A.E. Business Council and the World Affairs Council of Dallas/Fort Worth hosted a luncheon in honor of His Excellency Yousef Al Otaiba, United Arab Emirates (U.A.E.) Ambassador to the United States, on Wednesday, February 1. The event, held at Dallas’ Rosewood Crescent Hotel, celebrated the launch of Emirates’ Airlines new service from Dubai International Airport to Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport; commencing Thursday, February 2nd. The Honorable Betsy Price, mayor of Fort Worth, and the Honorable Mike Rawlings, mayor of Dallas, attended the luncheon and welcomed Ambassador Al Otaiba. The event was attended by senior U.S. and U.A.E. government officials, executives from prominent Texas companies, and members of the broader U.S.-U.A.E. business community.

Jim Falk, president and C.E.O. of the World Affairs Council of Dallas/Fort Worth, and Danny Sebright, president of the U.S.-U.A.E. Business Council, welcomed the international audience to Dallas/Fort Worth and introduced senior government officials and executives in attendance. In his remarks, Falk highlighted the strong commercial ties that Dallas/Fort Worth has with the U.A.E. and the community’s interest in strengthening its international relationships. In his comments, Sebright emphasized the significance of the new connection between Dallas/Fort Worth and Dubai — a gateway to key markets in the broader Middle East, Africa, and Asia — to the growth of U.S.-U.A.E. commerce and of the American economy.

Following the opening remarks, Mr. Ralph Heath, executive vice president of Lockheed Martin, introduced Ambassador Al Otaiba.

During his speech, Ambassador Al Otaiba highlighted the economic impact the new Emirates’ flight will have on the Dallas/Fort Worth community. According to the Ambassador, the non-stop flight is expected to generate more than $200 million in local economic activity and will connect Texas — a top exporting state to the U.A.E. (almost $2 billion last year) — directly to the Emirates. Further, Ambassador Al Otaiba said the significance of the route transcended economics and was an important milestone in the overall U.S.-U.A.E. diplomatic relationship.

“We are in Dallas/Fort Worth to celebrate more than the launch of the new Emirates flight. In many ways, we are here to mark the opening of a bridge that will enhance trade and diplomacy between our countries and broaden cultural understanding between our communities,” said Ambassador Al Otaiba.

In his remarks, Ambassador Al Otaiba underscored the U.A.E.’s stance as both a key U.S. export market in the Middle East North Africa (MENA) region and as a reliable security partner to the U.S. He cited the recent establishment of the U.S. State Department’s Global Center of Excellence for Countering Violent Terrorism — to be hosted in the U.A.E. — and close U.S.-U.A.E. military coordination in several international peacekeeping efforts as key elements supporting the strong commercial and diplomatic relationship.

Following the luncheon, the U.S.-U.A.E. Business Council hosted a CEO forum with Ambassador Al Otaiba and senior executives from American companies with significant business in the U.A.E. and broader Middle East region.

While in Dallas/Fort Worth, Ambassador Al Otaiba and a senior delegation from the U.A.E. Embassy in Washington, D.C. will meet with local students and visit local businesses prior to the landing of the inaugural Emirates’ flight on Thursday morning.

About the U.S.-U.A.E. Business Council:

The U.S.-U.A.E. Business Council is a progressive business advocacy organization solely committed to the advancement of the trade and commercial relationship between the United States and the United Arab Emirates. The U.S.-U.A.E. Business Council provides its diverse membership unparalleled access to senior decision makers in business and government in the U.A.E. and in the U.S. The Business Council actively works to ensure that the U.S. and U.A.E. remain attractive destinations for foreign direct investment by conducting effective policy advocacy, undertaking various trade promotion initiatives, providing ongoing updates on the business climate in both countries, and helping develop strategic relationships between U.S. and U.A.E. business and government officials. For more information, visit http://www.usuaebusiness.org.

About the World Affairs Council of Dallas/Fort Worth:

Founded in 1951, the nonprofit, nonpartisan World Affairs Council offers the public and its more than 3,700 members opportunities to learn firsthand from world leaders, policymakers, ambassadors, journalists and world affairs experts. It presents almost 100 programs annually to enlighten and entertain North Texans. In addition to impacting over 100,000 students each year through its International Education Program, the Council coordinates visits to North Texas of delegations and leaders from around the globe through the administration of its International Visitor Program and the City of Dallas Office of Protocol.

The mission of the World Affairs Council is to promote international awareness, understand and connections through its multifaceted programs. The Council works to enhance the region’s global stature and to prepare North Texans to thrive in our complex world. For more information, visit http://www.dfwworld.org.


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Brian Principato
U.S.-U.A.E. Business Council
(202) 863-7288
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