Hessa Al Otaiba becomes first Arab and female ambassador to receive ‘Order of Civil Merit’ of Spain

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ABU DHABI, 14th February, 2019 (WAM) -- Dr. Hessa Abdullah Al Otaiba, UAE Ambassador to Spain, has been awarded with the 'Grand Cross of the Order of Civil Merit' by Antonio Alvarez Barthe, Ambassador of Spain to the UAE.

The Spanish envoy presented the Order to Al Otaiba on behalf of his Majesty King Felipe VI of Spain in recognition of her role in strengthening the bilateral relations between the two countries upon completing her tenure as Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the UAE in Spain.


The Order recognises the civic virtue of officers in the service of the nation, as well as extraordinary service by Spanish and foreign citizens for the benefit of Spain. It is considered the highest honour for a foreign citizen and was awarded last 35 years ago before Dr. Al Otaiba became the first Arab and female ambassador to be decorated with it.

The ceremony was held on Wednesday, at the residence of the Ambassador, and was attended by Sheikh Nahyan bin Mubarak Al Nahyan, Minister of Tolerance, Sheikh Mohammed bin Maktoum bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Director of European Affairs Department of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, Zaki Nusseibeh, Minister of State, Fatima Al Mazroui, UAE Ambassador to the Kingdom of Denmark, Hafssa Al Olama, UAE Ambassador to Brazil, Frank Mollen, Dutch Ambassador in Abu Dhabi, and members of the Spanish Embassy along with Bernardino Leon, Director General of the Emirates Diplomatic Academy.

WAM/Esraa Ismail/Rasha Abubaker


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