Finnish Ambassador in United Arab Emirates and Bahrain

Finnish Ambassador Marianne Nissilä


I started as ambassador in Abu Dhabi on 1 June as successor of Riitta Swan who has done excellent job for past four years. Also for me personally this is a fresh start as I have been working mainly with European affairs for the past 25 years. Brussels, Paris and The Hague are my old hometowns.

Before moving to Abu Dhabi I had visited the Gulf region for work and holidays. I look forward to getting to know the country, the region and the Arab culture.

A diplomatic career is always built upon previous experiences: from around late 1990’s and early 2000 I worked closely with the Middle East policy issues in Paris and Helsinki. I have passed three years promoting Finnish education as Ambassador for Education Export and the Gulf region has been on the top of my agenda. And surely eight years in Brussels of EU negotiations won't hurt in this job either.

I prepared for my arrival to Abu Dhabi by having some forty meetings in Helsinki. Based on those it came crystal clear to me that our Embassy in Abu Dhabi has to live up to even higher expectations than before due to the current situation in the region and the upcoming EXPO2020.

There are three things that our small but strong team will concentrate on: supporting companies through Team Finland work, staying on the top of current foreign and other policy issues and providing consular services to citizens. Quite a task!

My work in building bridges between Finland and the United Arab Emirates, Qatar and Bahrain is now only starting. This cannot be done alone. Hopefully we will find many ways to cooperate!

Marianne Nissilä





Born on 3 August, 1966 in Äänekoski, Finland


Maîtrise en Politique Internationale, Université Libre de Bruxelles, 1995

  • Bachelor of Social Sciences (International Relations), University of Tampere, 1994


 Embassy of Finland in The United Arab Emirates 2019- 

  • Ambassador of Finland 

Ministry for Foreign Affairs, Department for External Economic Relations, Helsinki 2016-2019

  • Ambassador for Education Export 

Permanent Representation of Finland to the European Union, Brussels 2013-2016

  • Ambassador, Deputy Permanent Representative

Permanent Representation of Finland to the EU, Brussels 2011-2012

  • Counsellor in charge of the negotiations on Multiannual Financial Framework

Permanent Representation of Finland to the EU, Brussels 2008-2011

  • Counsellor (Antici)

Embassy of Finland in The Hague 2005-2008

  • Deputy to the Ambassador (Minister-Counsellor)

Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Helsinki 2003-2005 

  • Adviser to the Minister for Foreign Affairs

Embassy of Finland in Paris 2000-2003

  • Political Counsellor

Ministry for Foreign Affairs, Political Department, European Correspondent’s Unit, Helsinki 1998-2000

  • Assistant European Correspondent

Ministry for Foreign Affairs, Political Department and Department for External Economic Relations 1997-1998

  • Attaché

European Commission, Directorate General for Development, Brussels 1996-1997

  • National Expert



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