WASHINGTON, D.C., 2nd December, 2016(WAM) -- In a difficult neighbourhood, the United Arab Emirates, UAE, is creating a different path that is based on openness, tolerance and cooperation, Yousef Al Otaiba, Ambassador of the UAE to the United States, said on Thursday at a gala event he hosted at the UAE Embassy in Washington D.C., to celebrate the UAE's 45th National Day.

The event highlighted how the UAE is harnessing innovation and technology to become a hub for business and creativity.

"In a difficult neighborhood, the UAE is creating a different path that is based on openness, tolerance and cooperation among all people. It's a model � and a mindset � that emphasises learning and planning decades ahead. It encourages out-of-the box thinking in order to meet the challenges of today, and anticipate the needs of tomorrow," said Ambassador Al Otaiba during remarks at the event.

"Innovation is as much a part of Emirati DNA as the welcoming hospitality of our culture. And it is grounded in the vision of the late Sheikh Zayed, who recognised that we must adapt to thrive in a rapidly changing world," he added.

According to the UAE Ambassador, young entrepreneurs from across the Middle East region and the world move to the UAE to launch their businesses because of the country's sophisticated infrastructure; focus on innovation and technology; and convenient location at the crossroads of emerging markets.

This year, the Global Innovation Index ranked the UAE as the best place to conduct business in the Arab world.

Saif Al Aleeli, CEO of the Dubai Future Foundation, also joined the UAE Embassy for its National Day celebration. He commented on the UAE's use of innovation and investment in human capital to develop solutions to challenges facing the region.

"Our ancestors taught us to see an opportunity in every challenge," Al Aleeli said. "We want to understand the future, and design the road that will take us to the preferred future not only for us, but also for our region. We invest heavily in innovation and education to not only be competitive but to become a global hub of innovation. Autonomous transportation between our cities, virtual reality in our classrooms and artificial intelligence in hospitality are just some of our ambitions which we will execute in order to realise our leadership's vision."

People who attended the UAE Embassy's National Day celebration viewed a short video that illustrated the UAE's progress over the past 45 years and underscored how innovation and technology is propelling the country forward.

Evan Burfield, cofounder and co-CEO of Washington D.C.-based incubator and seed fund 1776, also participated in the Embassy's National Day. Earlier this year, the company announced its first international campus in Dubai. 1776 will also advise UAE government officials on developing regulatory frameworks necessary to support the growth of new ventures.

"Dubai is a real portal for entrepreneurs to come and test their ideas, that to us was absolutely exciting. Dubai is not simply innovating for the sake of innovation, the UAE is really looking to drive innovation around problems that really matter," Evan Burfield said in his remarks.

The UAE Embassy's National Day celebration was attended by hundreds of guests, including senior US government officials, high-profile media, business and community leaders, and members of the diplomatic community.

On this festive occasion, Ambassador Al Otaiba also congratulated President His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed al Nahyan, Vice President and Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces, Their Highnesses the Supreme Council Members and Rulers of the Emirates, and the people of the UAE.

Source: Emirates News Agency