The UAE was the third Arab country to establish diplomatic ties with Israel, following Jordan and Egypt, and its move to normalize relations has triggered new optimism for peaceful cooperation in the region—Bahrain has also since taken steps to normalize ties with Israel, and at a ceremony at the White House in mid September attended by Israeli PM Benjamin Netanyahu and the UAE and Bahraini foreign ministers, President Trump suggested more countries could also take similar steps in the near future.
The economic benefits are also substantial, with the normalization of ties boosting trade and investment between the two countries. The level of UAE investment in Israel could his USD350 million a year, while Israeli exports to the UAE could be worth up to USD500 million a year.
Areas that offer up opportunity include aviation, via the introduction of direct flights, clean energy, including cooperation on solar energy and more, not to mention food and water security and high technologies, underlined by plans announced by UAE-based Group 42 to set up a subsidiary in Israel to work on AI and cloud computing.
Banks in the UAE are also in talks with Israeli lenders that could further boost bilateral trade and investment. And in the nearer term, firms from the two countries have already penned a deal to develop a COVID-19-testing device.
The move also suggests a shift in the UAE’s foreign policy approach, with potential for even greater synergy across a fractured region.
With all this in mind, The Business Year is set to gather a range of top business voices from across the UAE to discuss what stronger relations with Israel could mean for the economy, society at large, and beyond.