Dubai-Israel trade hits Dh1bn in five months since normalisation of ties

The emirate's main imports from Israel include vegetables, fruits, diamonds, flat screens, hi-tech devices, and medical and mechanical devices

Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates, August 31, 2020.  The Israeli flag carrier El Al's airliner lands at Abu Dhabi International Airport.  
Victor Besa / The National
Section:  NA/Stock Images
Reporter:  Khaled Owais

Trade between Dubai and Israel in the last five months to January touched Dh1 billion ($272.2 million), the Dubai Media Office said in a statement on Saturday.

Bilateral trade over the past five months included Dh 325m in imports, Dh607m in exports and transit trade valued at 98.7m, the media office said on Saturday, citing Dubai Customs statistics.

Dubai’s main imports from Israel include vegetables, fruits, diamonds, flat screens, hi-tech devices as well as medical and mechanical devices. The emirate's exports to Israel include diamonds, smart phones, engine spare parts, perfumes and lubricants.

"The expansion of trade and investment between the two sides will benefit not only the business communities in the UAE and Israel, but also other stakeholders and business communities in the Middle East," said Sultan bin Sulayem, DP World group chairman and chief executive and the chairman of Dubai’s Ports, Customs and Free Zone Corporation.

The UAE and Israel normalised relations between the nations last September.

Dubai, the Middle East's financial hub, has a diversified economy that relies on tourism, transportation, real estate, trade, and financial services. The emirate is also a key trading hub in the region.

The volume of Dubai’s seaborne trade with Israel amounted to 5.7 thousand tonnes valued at Dh82.8m, while airborne trade reached 423 kilos worth Dh948.6m.

The annual exchange of trade between the UAE and Israel across a broad range of industries from finance to healthcare is expected to reach $4bn a year, UAE state-run news agency WAM reported in December.

A number of Israeli and Emirati businesses in sectors from technology to shipping have signed deals since the normalisation agreement was announced.‮‮ ‬‬

DP World signed an agreement with Israel’s Leumi Bank last September to facilitate trade and logistics services between the two sides. The Dubai-based ports operator also signed a series of co-operation agreements on cargo, port and free zone development with Israeli company Dovertower, with the two entities launching a joint bid to privatise Haifa port.

Israel has also expressed its interest in leveraging Jebel Ali Port as a re-export hub for Israeli products for easy access to fast-growing markets such as India, Pakistan, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka.

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