Dr Sultan Mohammed Al Nuaimi and Jamal Al Musharrakh during the virtual 12th Leadership Dialogue between the UAE and Israel.
Dr Sultan Mohammed Al Nuaimi and Jamal Al Musharrakh during the virtual 12th Leadership Dialogue between the UAE and Israel.

Biz be with you: UAE, Israel build on peace for economic opportunities

Dubai - Flurry of business events, meetings and dialogues have taken place since countries normalised relations

By Alvin R. Cabral

Published: Fri 11 Dec 2020, 10:07 PM

Last updated: Fri 11 Dec 2020, 10:08 PM

Business leaders from the UAE and Israel have expressed potential for paving more business avenues, and the driving force behind this will be the principle upon which the Abraham Accords was built on — peace.

At the 12th Leadership Dialogue, attendees from both sides lauded the signing of the historic accords in Washington, which has already proved fruitful thanks to the massive growth in business ties, joint ventures and bilateral investment between the two countries.

The dialogue, hosted by Australian businessman Albert Dadon, senior officials from both sides also discussed another result of the accords — a “new Middle East”.

A flurry of business events, meetings and dialogues — in-person and virtually — have taken place since the UAE and Israel normalised relations. A high-level tech CEO delegation, headed by Jerusalem Venture Partners Fund founder Dr Erel Margalit, recently visited the UAE and touched base with their entrepreneurial counterparts in a bid to kick start business relations.

Parties from both sides have expressed optimism that deals and partnerships will be inked soon.

Economic sectors that have been touted to benefit the most are tourism and aviation. Bilateral trade, at its initial stages, is pegged to hit $5 billion.

Dr Sultan Mohammed Al Nuaimi, director-general of the Emirates Centre for Strategic Studies and Research, told a panel that the accords will help bring peace in the region.

Jamal Al Musharrakh, director of the Policy Planning Department at the UAE’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, highlighted the courage of all the leaders involved in making their vision of peace a reality for Israel and the UAE. “What this accord really represents is hope for a way forward, that countries such as the UAE and Israel are able to commence bilateral relations and that the region has hope for peace and prosperity,” Al Musharrakh added.

Amos Gilad, former director of policy and political-military affairs at Israel’s Ministry of Defence, stressed the strategic implications of such an agreement and noted that its effects must be multiplied. “If the unique peace between us and the UAE will be isolated to a bilateral relationship it’s not enough. I think that we [Israel] need, together with the leadership of the UAE, to extend peace with the rest of the region. You are so courageous. You are the model. You are the one we have to follow.”

The event was organised by the International Institute for Strategic Leadership Dialogue, founded by Dadon, who is also a philanthropist. It took place online due to Covid-19, with speakers and panellists — including current and former prime ministers — joining from the UAE, Israel, the UK and Australia, as well as the United States.

Petroleum, natural gas cooperation discussed

Meanwhile, The UAE Ministry of Energy and Infrastructure, along with the Israeli Ministry of Energy, held their first natural gas and petroleum working group meeting to discuss opportunities for cooperation and collaboration.

During the meeting, which was attended from the UAE side by representatives of the Ministry of Energy, the Abu Dhabi National Oil Company and on the Israeli side members of the Ministry of Energy, participants discussed ways to develop bilateral relations between the two countries and the future of joint cooperation in energy, petroleum and natural gas.

The two sides referred to the most prominent achievements and developments in the energy sector during the past 10 years in both countries, and the current statistics for each country in the fields of petroleum and natural gas. They also reviewed the most important petroleum projects and gas fields that the two countries are working on at the present time, and the volume of stocks and the amount of production and digital fields.

— alvin@khaleejtimes.com

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