03 Apr 2013 13:00

Washington society stepped out in style last night at an exclusive gala dinner co-hosted by the United Arab Emirates Ambassador to the United States and Etihad Airways, the national carrier of the UAE. 

More than 450 distinguished guests attended a glamorous gala dinner at the prestigious Andrew W. Mellon Auditorium, in the heart of the city, to celebrate the launch of the airline’s new daily service linking Washington, D.C., and the UAE’s capital Abu Dhabi.

Harry Connick Jr. and his band provided a memorable performance by entertaining guests with an exceptional display of musical talent and charm.

The UAE Ambassador to the United States, His Excellency Yousef Al Otaiba, extended a warm welcome to guests and said he was pleased the links between the two countries were being strengthened with the new Etihad Airways’ service.

“I want to congratulate Etihad Airways on the launch of this new flight connecting our two capitals, Washington, D.C. and Abu Dhabi. This flight is a reflection of the strong ties between the UAE and the US and it will help expand trade, enhance diplomacy, broaden cultural understanding, and deepen the friendship that binds our countries and our communities closer together,” he said.

James Hogan, Etihad Airways President and Chief Executive Officer, said Etihad Airways enjoyed a strong relationship with the United States through existing daily flights to New York and Chicago and, by adding services to Washington, D.C., was further strengthening those ties.

“I am pleased the demand for our services is growing and delighted that I have this opportunity to celebrate your support for Etihad Airways, as we connect the capital cities of Washington, D.C., and Abu Dhabi.”

Showcasing the award-winning on-board dining amidst the elegance of the Mellon Auditorium, Etihad Airways’ Executive Chef Thomas Ulherr led 11 of his classically-trained first class in-flight chefs, flown in for the dinner, to conceive and prepare an inspiring menu filled with exotic Arabian flavours.

Tantalising aromas of Middle Eastern spices, herbs and truffle oil accompanied the dishes as they were served to guests, with some of the world’s finest wines.

Today, the airline employs over 100 chefs, many of whom have worked with the world’s top celebrity chefs, including Marco Pierre White, Gary Rhodes and Anton Mosimann, or at some of the world’s leading five and six-star restaurants and establishments, including Ritz-Carlton, Burj Al Arab and Emirates Palace.

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