UAE sets sights on $1 trillion trade boom with Israel

UAE wants a $1 trillion trade boom with Israel over the next decade
2 min read
14 September, 2021
Almost one year after the UAE formally recognised Israel, the Gulf state said it is looking to expand trade with the Jewish state to more than $1 trillion over the next decade.
Over 60 memorandums of understanding have been signed by the UAE and Israel since normalising relations in 2020 [Getty]

The UAE is looking to expand its trade with Israel to more than $1 trillion over the next decade, an Emirati minister said on Monday. 

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. 

The statement came as the UAE and Israel marked the one-year anniversary of the US-brokered Abraham Accords, which normalised ties between the two countries.

The minister said an "influx" of trade between the two countries should be expected within the next two years. 

Energy
Live Story

"We are looking to create over $1 trillion dollars of economic activity over the next decade," said Al-Mari.  

"We have $600 to $700 million dollars of bilateral trade happening, we have funds of billions of dollars that have been announced jointly between the two countries." 

Over 60 agreements have been signed between Israel and the UAE during the course of their one-year relationship.  

The biggest commercial deal to date has been Israeli oil company Delek Drilling selling its 22 percent share in the east Mediterranean Tamar gas field to Abu Dhabi’s Mubadala Petroleum.

The Tamar field is one of Israel's primary energy resources and can produce 11 billion cubic metres of gas a year. 

MENA
Live Story

Ilan Sztulman Starosta, who heads Israel's first consulate in the UAE, said earlier this month that trade between the two countries would "easily" surpass $1 billion within a year if the Covid pandemic abates.

A number of Israeli start-ups in fields such as artificial intelligence and agriculture have set up shop in the UAE, and nearly 200,000 Israelis have visited the Gulf country over the past year.  

"The main benefits for the UAE [after formally recognising Israel] have been economic," Elham Fakhro, an analyst at the International Crisis Group think tank told AFP.

"Tourism, cultural exchanges, cyber-security agreements, and diplomatic exchanges have benefitted the two states."