One Year Later, UAE-Israel Ties Pay Off In Fintech And Fighter Jets.
A year has gone since Israel and the United Arab Emirates normalized relations through a US-brokered agreement, resulting in a slew of partnerships spanning tourism, aviation, and cutting-edge technology.
The UAE became the first Gulf government to establish formal relations with the Jewish state on September 15, 2020, and just the third Arab country to do so following Egypt and Jordan in 1979 and 1994, respectively.
Bahrain signed on the same day, and Sudan and Morocco later joined the Abraham Accords to normalize relations with Israel, which were negotiated by the United States.
Following the momentous agreement, which defied decades of Arab policy by not establishing links with Israel until it makes peace with the Palestinians, here are some critical items to consider.
The United Arab Emirates and Israel have emphasized the economic benefits of normalization, particularly in Dubai, which is constantly looking to develop its tourism, technology, and commercial sectors.
The two governments have established embassies in each other’s countries and signed numerous commercial agreements.
A number of Israeli start-ups in the disciplines of artificial intelligence, fintech, and agribusiness have opened offices in the UAE since last year.
After tourism, aviation, and financial services partnerships were made, business exchanges between the two countries, whose economies were heavily damaged by the coronavirus outbreak, surpassed $500 million in August – excluding investments.
Meanwhile, the United States, a close Israel friend, approved a $23 billion sale of F-35 fighter fighters to the United Arab Emirates after the latter recognized Israel.
Elham Fakhro, an analyst at the International Crisis Group think tank, told AFP that the UAE’s main benefits have been economic.
“Both states have benefited from tourism, cultural exchanges, cyber-security partnerships, and diplomatic engagements.”
Since the establishing of diplomatic relations, approximately 200,000 Israelis have visited the UAE, according to the Israeli consulate in Dubai.
Saudi Arabia, the Gulf’s power broker, has stated repeatedly that it will not develop formal ties with Israel until the Palestinian crisis is addressed.
However, shared concerns about Iran have drawn Israel and Gulf Arab countries closer together, and Riyadh has been secretly developing ties with the Jewish state for some years.
Following the UAE-Israel agreement, the monarchy allowed limited Israeli overflights, but observers say normalization between the two countries is unlikely.
“Under King Salman, Riyadh is unlikely to formally normalize relations with Israel,” said Hugh Lovatt, a policy fellow at the European Council on Foreign Relations.
“However, it is evident that the two countries are at odds. Brief News from Washington Newsday.