H.E. ROBERT ROSTEK, AMBASSADOR OF THE REPUBLIC OF POLAND, UAE
By Shereen Shabnam
Born in Wroclaw, Poland, 49-year-old H.E Robert Rostek is the dynamic Ambassador of the Republic of Poland in the UAE. He is knowledgeable of the Arab world and speaks Arabic having spent close to 25years in countries like Libya, Egypt, Syria, Iraq and Qatar and hence he feels at home in the UAE in his current position.
H.E Robert Rostek attended the Jagiellonian University in Krakow, the oldest university in Poland (estd. 1364). He studied Arabic Studies as Arabic speakers were always highly sought-after for the Polish Foreign Service. The tradition of close economic ties and a significant Polish diplomatic presence in the Arab World goes back to the 1960’s. As a student of Arabic Studies, H.E Robert Rostek saw himself in the diplomatic service, to serve the Polish interests in the Arab World and be able to present his country in the Middle East.
H.E Robert Rostek has been with the Foreign Service since 1996 in various positions. Prior to becoming an Ambassador, he was a desk officer, a consular officer, worked in the Diplomatic Protocol and was the chief of the American interests section of the Polish Embassy in Baghdad during the second Gulf War.
Before coming to Abu Dhabi, H.E Robert Rostek was the ambassador in Doha, Qatar for seven years. Working in diplomacy, being able to serve his country is a life-long adventure and he is both proud and happy to do it! H.E Robert Rostek mentions that if he was not in diplomacy he always had a keen interest in aviation and closely follows the aviation world and business.
One of H.E Robert Rostek’s biggest achievements is developing connections between UAE and Poland, particularly connecting Dubai and Krakow, the historical capital of Poland with daily flights operated by FlyDubai. He is happy to see a stable increase in the number of visitors between the two countries strengthening international relations. He strives to bring Poland and UAE closer together – politically, but also in terms of business and investment.
During challenges, H.E Robert Rostek believes in keeping your focus, being able to set realistic, but ambitious goals and having the consequence to pull them through. He believes in being able to balance between different priorities, interests and partners.
To young aspiring diplomats, H.E Robert Rostek encourages them to follow the political and economic affairs of the world they are most interested in as a passion! “The language, culture, everyday events and being able to keep up with a developing social reality of your ‘favourite’ region is the key to success in diplomacy,” he adds.
H.E Robert Rostek feels Poland’s diplomatic traditions are well established with a long tradition. The first Polish ambassadors and envoys were present in the courts of France, England, Turkey and Italy as early as the 1400’s and diplomacy has always been a way to reach out to the Polish diaspora around the world.
H.E Robert Rostek mentions UAE is an unquestionable leader of modernization and development in the Persian Gulf and the Arab World, setting standards that are closely observed by the whole world, especially in diversifying the economy in perspective of the post-oil era, launching the first Emirati satellite, participation of Emirati astronauts in the ISS mission and hosting the EXPO.
H.E Robert Rostek sees UAE and Poland as natural partners as Poland has a lot to offer in education, healthcare and science and is a major economy in the European Union. The quality of Polish products has been a strong trademark in the West for years. “It is time to bring this trademark to the UAE. My goal is to see Polish companies more involved in the development of the Emirates. Also, we see the potential of the UAE as a partner in the defence sector and investment. I would like to see our ties to grow closer in the coming ten years.”
Speaking about family, H.E Robert Rostek mentions that his parents are now retired and live in Warsaw, Poland and he has a brother who is an airline pilot. He is happily married to Bozena Rostek, who has been recently re-elected as the President of the Spouses of Ambassadors Association in Abu Dhabi and has a 12-year-old son, Patryk who has spent most of his life in the Gulf and keen on discovering the reality of the Peninsula.
H.E Robert Rostek concludes our interview by saying that diplomacy is all about bridging nations together!