Trade between Israel and Dubai at $700 million
"We have this huge amount of trade [even though] Israel was closed completely for foreigners, and sometimes for Israelis, too, up to 1 November, because of Covid-19. It only proves that once the doors are opened, we are going to have a surge of more business going back and forth," Ilan Sztulman Starosta, the Israeli Consul-General in Dubai told Emirates News Agency (WAM).
He said most of the trade relates to commodities, especially diamonds, with the Dubai Diamond Exchange (DDE) establishing an office in Israel.
The DDE signed a collaboration agreement with the Israel Diamond Exchange (IDE) in September last year.
Dubai’s status as one of the world’s leading diamond trading hubs facilitated the rapid growth trade with Israel, the Consul-General said.
"You have many Israeli companies that develop and sell technologies in Dubai. They set up [their businesses] here and start doing R&D [research and development] and some of them are into the production of goods that are not available in Israel. And this is also growing," Starosta noted.
Starosta said cooperation on healthcare is also increasing.
"Many people come to Israel for health services and many Israeli hospitals are opening branches here in Dubai," he said.
In September, an Emirati minister said the UAE is looking to expand its trade with Israel to more than $1 trillion over the next decade.
Economy Minister Abdulla Bin Touq Al-Mari told a virtual conference that the Gulf country is exploring "many areas of economic opportunities" with Israel, including in defence, energy, and food security.
Over 60 agreements have been signed between Israel and the UAE during the course of their one-year of relations.
Dubbed the Abraham Accords, Israel's normalisation deals with four Arab countries were slammed by Palestinians as a betrayal of their cause, rewarding Israel while it continued to occupy the West Bank and besiege the Gaza Strip.
Opinion polls showed that the overwhelming majority of respondents in the Arab world were opposed to them.
Israel already signed peace deals with Egypt in 1979 and Jordan in 1994.