In the gilded rooms the Genoese fortress otherwise known as the royal palace of Monaco and before a beaming Prince Albert II, Her Excellency Ambassador Hend Al Otaiba presented her letters of credence this Tuesday, thusly becoming non-resident Ambassador of the Principality of Monaco. Her Excellency resides in Paris, where she is Ambassador for the United Arab Emirates to France, since November 2021. For the historic occasion in Monaco, Her Excellency donned an off-white custom dress by Emirati couture house Khyeli. The designer Ahmed AlKhyeli shares that the process of designing for HE Ambassador Al Otaiba is “an absolute pleasure” particularly for “such a historic moment representing the UAE.” He recently designed her gown for the ball welcoming HH Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan on his first official visit to France as President of the UAE in July.
The Ambassador’s dress is made of wool crepe and lined with pure silk satin. Its standout feature is an elegant sash, draped across the front of the bodice that flows freely from the waist. The look is finished with a wool crepe belt to add a sense of formality to the soft draping, explains its designer. Offering some insight into the process of creating a couture piece cross-country, he explains, “Although we are always excited to meet clients in person, in this modern day, with women being very busy and not always able to be present for fittings, we’ve had to create ways for them to be able to get completely custom made gowns to fit to perfection from anywhere in the world.” An initial toile was sent based on measurements and final fittings were made virtually. “It means a great deal to us that Ambassador Al Otaiba recognizes the attention to detail that goes into the gowns we create,” adds Al Khyeli.
Along with her meeting with HSH Prince Albert II, HE Ambassador Al Otaiba met with HE Isabelle Berro-Amadië, Minister of Foreign Affairs and Cooperation of the Principality of Monaco, HEM Michael Dotta, President of the Economic Council and HEM Frédéric Genta, Interministerial Commissioner of the Principality of Monaco to discuss the perspectives on economic cooperation between the two countries.
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HE Ambassador Al Otaiba is proving to be a diligent supporter of Arab design. In a recent diplomatic trip to Toulouse, she donned a rose-hued suit signed Elie Saab, a nod to the “ville rose” where she visited the team behind Airbus. While in Toulouse, she also visited the Couvent des Jacobins, the modern and contemporary art museum Les Abattoirs, and notably went to the Jewish school Ozar Hatorah to lay flowers for the victims of the 2012 terrorist attack that killed three children. Ambassador Al Otaiba has amplified her support for children and women in recent months. In September, the United Arab Embassy offered its support to Léa Solidarité Femmes where a new space will welcome, accompany, and host women and children victims of conjugal and family violence with the objective to accompany them in a psychological and judicial capacity.
Learn more about the UAE’s support of Léa Solidarité Femmes here.