Finnish Ambassador in United Arab Emirates and Bahrain
Finnish Ambassador of the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain is Tuula Yrjölä.
My work in the United Arab Emirates has already had a lively start since 17 October. I had the pleasure to open the Finnish Education Expo Middle East at GESS Dubai, and COP28 climate negotiations are just around the corner.
From the beginning, it was evident that I owe a debt of gratitude to the excellent work of my predecessor Ambassador Marianne Nissilä, as well as to Milena Hakanpää, who as Chargé d’Affaires ably ran the Embassy in the months before my arrival. Thanks to a highly professional and dedicated team at the Embassy, I can count on their good advice as I acquaint myself with my new job.
I have spent the past several years focusing on questions of European security, as Director of the Conflict Prevention Centre and Deputy Head of the OSCE Secretariat in Vienna. Much of my previous diplomatic career has focused on Eastern Europe, South Caucasus and Central Asia. During the three years that I spent in Cairo as Ambassador of Finland to Egypt I also was acquainted with issues facing the Middle East. From those years I have a cursory knowledge of Arabic, which will likely not hurt in this position either. Dubai is already familiar from many holiday visits but I look forward to exploring the UAE more during the coming years.
I embark on my posting in Abu Dhabi with great enthusiasm, eager to learn all that is new for me here.
The priorities of the Embassy of Finland in Abu Dhabi will remain the promotion of Finnish business interests in the UAE through Team Finland work, monitoring political issues, as well as consular services and services to Finnish citizens (kansalaispalvelut). My extensive previous experience in promoting the interests of Finland and Finns will surely come in handy, and I look forward to making use of it in the Persian Gulf. In the near future I hope to have the opportunity to visit Bahrain, which the Embassy also covers.
This work will not succeed without joint efforts by all of us, and readiness to jump at new opportunities and face challenges together in a spirit of cooperation.
I look forward to exciting, productive and results-oriented next few years in the United Arab Emirates!
Abu Dhabi, 9 November 2023