Just a little over a month since signing the historic Abraham Accords which normalized relations between Israel and the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain, Israeli and UAE companies and other institutions have wasted no time in making some stunning agreements.
Even before the borders have been opened to tourism, a steady stream of official delegations traveling back and forth between Israel and the UAE has already begun. According to Forbes magazine, “business deals are being negotiated and announced at a rapid rate and commercial flights have started between the two countries.”
“Entrepreneurs will be creating the bridges, with the large things that Dubai, Abu Dhabi and the UAE in general want to achieve,” said Erel Margalit, who led a group of Israeli technology leaders to the UAE and later Bahrain. “And we would like to help with… what is pretty much in line with what we do best.”
One of the first deals was a direct shipping line that would offer service from Israel to Jebel Ali port in the United Arab Emirates. In another agreement, the two countries agreed on a pipeline that can eventually be run through Saudi Arabia connecting the two countries by land, while conveying oil between the Red Sea and the Mediterranean Sea.
Both of the above agreements enable huge savings on shipping and will save time as well as they provide more direct routes between Israel and the UAE.
“This is a historic agreement that will increase cooperation between EAPC and regional and international players. This agreement undoubtedly has great importance for the Israeli economy both economically and strategically and it involves long-term joint investments,” said EAPC chairman Erez Kalfon.
Meanwhile, this week, the head of Hadassah Medical Center announced that the Jerusalem hospital is in negotiations with UAE to open a hospital in Dubai.
“They want us in the Emirates, they appreciate us, they want to benefit from our abilities,” Prof. Zeev Rotstein, the hospital’s director-general, said.
The opening of a hub in in Dubai would even include the possible relocation of some its top doctors, nurses and management to the UAE. Rotstein attended the first Abraham Accords Business Summit in the UAE last week and noted that some of the world’s best medical centers, including the Mayo Clinic, are already in the country.
“For us, this is really a testament to our services and a vote of confidence.”
From hospitals and pipelines to wineries, the Golan Heights Winery just signed a deal enabling its wines to become the first Israeli vintages to be sold in the UAE. The wines will be sold in wine shops, hotels, restaurants and other places where wine can be sold.
What makes this arrangement all the more stunning, is that the grapes are grown in the Golan Heights region, which is considered to be disputed territory in the international arena.