Omar Ghobash

Assistant Minister for Culture and Public Diplomacy, UAE

Educated at Rugby School (’86 -‘89) and then Balliol College, Oxford (‘89-‘92), Omar Saif Ghobash (OG) was appointed Ambassador of the United Arab Emirates to France on November 24, 2017, having previously served as UAE Ambassador to Russia from 2009-2017. He authored a critically acclaimed book, Letters to a Young Muslim (January 2017), which was written as a series of letters to his eldest son about what it means to be Muslim in the 21st century. Typical reviewer’s view: ‘These letters serve as a clear-eyed inspiration for the next generation of Muslims to understand how to be faithful to their religion and still navigate through the complexities of today's world.’

OG is widely respected and often featured in Western media, notably with an Observer profile and interview in 2017. OG now serves the Assistant Minister for Culture and Public Diplomacy. He comes from a political family – his father, Saif Ghobash, was UAE's first Minister of State for Foreign Affairs before he was assassinated in 1977. His mother is Russian. He is an avid hiker and speaks Arabic, English, Russian, French and Italian. 

OG sponsors the Saif Ghobash Banipal Prize for Arabic Literary Translation and is a founding trustee of the International Prize for Arabic Fiction in collaboration with the Man Booker Prize in London. He sits on the advisory body of the International Centre for the Study of Radicalisation at King’s College London and the board of trustees of Emirates Diplomatic Academy Abu Dhabi.