U.A.E.'s first Consulate in U.S.A. officially opens
LOS ANGELES, CA: Yousef Al Otaiba, U.A.E. Ambassador to the U.S. and Abdulla Al Saboosi, U.A.E. Consul General have formally opened the U.A.E.'s Consulate in Los Angeles, country's first Consulate in the United States.
The opening reception and ribbon-cutting ceremony was attended by U.S. Ambassador to the U.A.E., Michael Corbin, Los Angeles-area political officials and business leaders, as well as members of the local diplomatic community.
"This consulate celebrates another milestone in the U.A.E.-US bilateral relationship," said Consul General Al Saboosi. "Los Angeles is an ideal location for the Consulate - especially given the many similarities shared by the U.A.E. and California: diversity, an entrepreneurial spirit, and a dedication to innovation." In addition to establishing and strengthening government and business relationships in the Western region of the U.S., the Consulate in Los Angeles will offer consular services, diplomatic documentation, and resources for commerce and trade. It will serve as the focal point for enhancing U.A.E.-U.S. cooperation and support on the West Coast.
The consulate opening coincided with the Etihad Airways launch of a daily nonstop flight between Abu Dhabi and Los Angeles. However, ties between the Golden State and the U.A.E. span beyond aviation.
Trade between the two is burgeoning, and in 2013, California ranked 5th among U.S. states exporting merchandise to the U.A.E. California's top exports to the U.A.E. include agricultural products, automotive and other manufactured goods, computers, and nuts. These exports to the U.A.E. also support over 22,000 jobs in California.
Beyond its close economic relationship with California, the U.A.E. has remained the U.S. largest trading partner in the Middle East and North Africa for the last five years. In 2013, overall trade between the U.A.E. and U.S. exceeded US$26 billion.
In addition, nearly 400 Emirati students attend universities in California more than any other U.S. state.
"The opening of the first Consulate in the United States demonstrates the closeness of the U.A.E. and U.S., and the importance of California," said Ambassador Al Otaiba. "I am confident that Consul General Al Saboosi will deepen existing friendships, and create new ones that further expand this bilateral relationship."