UAE-Israeli business deals could mount to $1 billion by end of 2021

UAE-Israeli business deals could mount to $1 billion by end of 2021
Business deals between Israel and the UAE have already shot up to more than half a billion dollars since normalisation began.
2 min read
09 August, 2021
Israel and UAE normalised ties last year [Getty]

Business deals between Israel and the UAE could amount to $1 billion by the end of 2021 as the current level of trade stands at $570 million, according to Israel's Central Bureau of Statistics.

Trade shot up between the two countries since the UAE made a controversial decision to sign an agreement to normalise relations with Israel in September 2020 - a move that angered many in the Arab world who slammed it as a betrayal of the Palestinians.

Israel exported $197 million of goods and services to the UAE during 2020 and the first six months of 2021, and imported around $372 million worth of goods.

Trade between the two countries is projected to reach $1 billion for the whole of 2021, and could exceed $3 billion within the next three years, the UAE-Israel Business Council has estimated.

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"The Emirates are a place where people from all over the world come to engage in commerce, with unique advantages compared with other jurisdictions that make it a unique platform to reach the entire world," Dorian Barak, founder of UAE-Israel Business Council said, according to Israeli press.

"Israelis are always looking for ways to do business in South Asia, East Africa, India and Bangladesh."

He said Israeli businesses often can't work from Tel Aviv with these countries - with combined populations of around 2 billion people - so the UAE normalisation deal has brought benefits for Israel in reaching these markets.

"The UAE is the place where everyone congregates to do business, and Israel has finally been admitted to that club," Barak said.

Among the Israeli shipments to the UAE has been Israeli-made wine from the occupied Golan Heights, which was illegally annexed by Israel from Syria in 1981.

In November 2020, a settler delegation travelled to Dubai to hold a series of business meetings with Emirati entrepreneurs.

While the UAE and other Arab states have rushed to embrace Israel, opinion among Arab populations remains strongly against normalisation.

A poll published Arab Center for Research and Policy Studies (ACRPS) in October last year showed that an overwhelming majority of 88 percent of Arabs reject normalisation with Israel.