What Investments Is The UAE Planning To Make In Israel?

Published March 15th, 2021 - 03:00 GMT
UAE and Israeli flags
In September 2020, the UAE and Israel inaugurated full normalization. (Shutterstock: Leo Altman)

Last Thursday, the UAE announced a $10 billion fund that is allocated for Emirati investments in Israel, the latest country with which the UAE has signed a normalization agreement last September.

The announcement was made on the same day the Israeli Prime Minister was preparing to fly to Abu Dhabi for the first official visit following the signing of the Abraham Accords. Yet, the visit was rescheduled for another time over flight difficulties, and announcements were made during a joint phone call instead, one with Benjamin Netanyahu and Sheikh Mohammad Bin Zayed of Abu Dhabi on both ends.

Announcing the investment fund also comes at a time during which Israel is approaching the end of its national vaccination program, which is leading the country into gradual re-opening of all business and trade sectors.

The $10-billion Emirati fund has been linked with UAE efforts to "boost Israel's strategic sectors," and is meant to support sectors such as energy, manufacturing, healthcare, space, agriculture, technology, and others.

Additionally, the two countries have already been discussing a "quarantine travel corridor" that is meant to allow trips between both countries ensuring the minimum number of COVID-19 infections. It's worth mentioning that both the UAE and Israel have a global lead in vaccinations.

Yet, this latest announcement of the new investment fund is not the first example of commercial ties between Israel and the UAE. Besides robust tourism activity, several Israeli and Emirati businesses have been signing cooperation agreements since the normalization, including one between the UAE-based Apex National Investment company and Israel's TeraGroup over joint research aimed at developing COVID-19 testing kits. 

Last December, the Etihad Credit Insurance (ECI) and the UAE's Federal export credit company, and the Israel Foreign Trade Risks Insurance Corporation (ASHR’A) have agreed to jointly create a strategic partnership in supporting exports, trade, and investment.

Last week, plans to develop advanced anti-drone missile systems between the UAE's state-owned arms maker EDGE and the Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI) were announced.

While details on the upcoming investments between the two countries remain unannounced, they are expected to strongly accelerate efforts of commercial and trade cooperation between Israel and the UAE over the next few years.

What areas do you think the UAE investments in Israel will target the most? How can this help the UAE economy in return?

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