HE Omar Saif Ghobash
— Assistant Minister of Public and Cultural Diplomacy, Ministry of Foreign Affairs & International Cooperation
Born in the emirate of Ras Al-Khaimah in 1971, Omar Saif Ghobash received a law degree from Balliol College, Oxford University and a mathematics degree from the University of London.
Ambassador to the Republic of France in 2017 & the Russian Federation (2008-2017).
Author of Letters to a Young Muslim, personal & insightful letters to his sons, a vital manifesto tackling the dilemmas facing young Muslims & everyone navigating the complexities of today’s world
Established the Arabic Booker Prize for fiction & Saif Ghobash-Banipal Prize for Arabic Literary Translation in memory of his father who was UAE’s first Minister of State for Foreign Affairs.
Born in the emirate of Ras Al-Khaimah in 1971, Omar Saif Ghobash received a law degree from Balliol College, Oxford University and a mathematics degree from the University of London. He was appointed Assistant Minister for Cultural Affairs – Ministry of Foreign Affairs & International Cooperation in 2019. Ambassador of the United Arab Emirates to the Republic of France in 2017 and ambassador of the United Arab Emirates to the Russian Federation (2008-2017).
He began his career with the UAE Ministry of Foreign Affairs as a diplomat at the UAE Mission to the United Nations.
He currently serves on the board of trustees at The International Centre for the Study of Radicalization at King College London and the Emirates Diplomatic Academy in Abu Dhabi.
Prior to his appointment in Moscow, Ghobash established finance and legal services companies that operate across the MENA region. In 2005, he founded The Third Line, Dubai first international contemporary art gallery showcasing artists from the Middle East. He also helped to establish the Arabic Booker Prize for fiction as well as the Saif Ghobash-Banipal Prize for Arabic Literary Translation in memory of his father, Saif Ghobash, who was the UAE first Minister of State for Foreign Affairs.
Author of Letters to a Young Muslim: In a series of personal and insightful letters to his sons, Omar Saif Ghobash offers a vital manifesto that tackles the dilemmas facing not only young Muslims but everyone navigating the complexities of today’s world. Full of wisdom and thoughtful reflections on faith, culture and society. This is a courageous and essential book that celebrates individuality whilst recognising it is our shared humanity that brings us together.
Written with the experience of a diplomat and the personal responsibility of a father; Ghobash’s letters offer understanding and balance in a world that rarely offers any. An intimate and hopeful glimpse into a sphere many are unfamiliar with; it provides an understanding of the everyday struggles Muslims face around the globe.
The Office of Public and Cultural Diplomacy was created by HE Zaki Anwar Nusseibeh in 2018.
HE Zaki Anwar Nusseibeh
— Cultural Advisor to the President of the UAE and Chancellor of the United Arab Emirates University (Al Ain)
Born in Jerusalem in 1946 and obtained a Master’s Degree in Economics and Politics from the University of Cambridge. Following his graduation, he made the United Arab Emirates his home and soon after began his service in the newly established Government of Abu Dhabi Department of Civil Service. His polyglot nature brought him to the attention of the royal family — specifically, the late Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan, the first president of the United Arab Emirates, to whom he became translator, interpreter, and adviser. Assigned the role of Minister of State in 2017, he did oversee public and cultural diplomacy in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation and is the Cultural Advisor at the Ministry of Presidential Affairs. In October 2020, he was appointed Chancellor of the UAE University and Cultural Advisor to the UAE President in February 2021.
- Cultural Diplomat of the Year, Abu Dhabi CultureSummit, 2017
- Officer of the French Légion d’Honneur, 2015
- Gold Medal in the Arts from the Kennedy Center, Washington, DC, 2014
- Al Owais Cultural Award, 2013
- Cultural Foundation Pro-Europe European Arab Culture Prize, Leipzig, 2013
- Commander’s Cross of the Order of Merit of the Federal Republic of Germany, 2013
- Commander of the Order of the British Empire, 2013
- European Academy of Sciences and Arts Ring of Tolerance, Frankfurt, 2012
- Medal for Merit to Culture “Gloria Artis,” Republic of Poland, 2010
- Commander of the French Ordre des Arts et des Lettres, July 2008
- Grand Decoration of Honor in Gold for Services to the Republic of Austria, January 2007
- Commander of the French Ordre des Palmes Académiques, February 2007
- Abu Dhabi Award, 2007 – Grand Officer Star of Italian Solidarity, August 2007
- Chevalier of the French Légion d’Honneur, May 2001
- Officer of the Spanish Order of Merit, July 1999
- Commander of the British Victorian Order, July 1989
- Commander of the Order of Merit of the Italian Republic, 1983
- Officer of the French Order of Merit, August 1980