Boston: The United Arab Emirates (UAE) opened a Consulate General in Boston, Massachusetts, the country’s third consulate in the USA.
At an event held on Thursday, 13th October, to celebrate the opening of the consulate, UAE Consul-General Salem Al-Shamsi and UAE Ambassador to the USA Yousef Al Otaiba were joined by local officials, business leaders, and members of the diplomatic community.
The UAE has deep ties with the local community in Boston and the Commonwealth of Massachusetts.
In 2015, Massachusetts exported over $150 million in merchandise and goods, making it the 21st largest exporting state to the United Arab Emirates. The state also benefits from UAE imports, with $17 million of goods imported in 2015.
This relationship also includes educational programmes that deepen exchanges and learning experiences for students in the USA and UAE, including the Emirates Leadership Initiative, a fellowship programme at Harvard University's Kennedy School of Government, and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Masdar Cooperative Programme.
There are more than 200 Emirati students studying at universities across New England, including 105 in Massachusetts.
“I am honored to serve as the UAE Consul-General in New England,” said Consul-General Al Shamsi. “Boston is not only the most innovative city in the world, it is also home to the unique history of the United States, which I hope to explore during my time here.”
He added: “I also look forward to working with my counterparts and the business community to promote our many common interests and to build on a longstanding friendship and partnership.”
The USA and the UAE are also working towards shared goals in the healthcare sector, with partners such as The New England Center for Children in Abu Dhabi.
With a branch in Abu Dhabi, the Center seeks to develop a comprehensive education program for children with Autism Spectrum Disorder and their families.
In addition to consular services, the UAE's Consulate in Boston offers a number of services to UAE nationals through its medical office. These services include providing access to essential medical equipment, consultations, and introductions to local medical specialists. There are currently 586 UAE patients and family members in the Boston area.
“We understand that there is much to be learned from one another in sectors ranging from business, education, and healthcare,” said Ambassador Al Otaiba.
“Boston hosts many organisations and institutions that have contributed to the exchange of ideas and the development of partnerships between our nations.”
Consul-General Al Shamsi will play a key role in promoting the relationship between the USA and the UAE by encouraging commercial relationships, increasing innovation and cultural exchanges, and enhancing UAE-US cooperation locally and throughout New England.