Abu Dhabi, UAEWednesday 28 October 2020

Defence industry leaders hail prospects for growth after Abraham Accord

Landmark peace agreement has opened the way for ‘eyewatering’ opportunities for defence companies in the UAE

Alan Davis pictured at the launch of Raytheon Emirates in 2017. Chris Whiteoak / The National
Alan Davis pictured at the launch of Raytheon Emirates in 2017. Chris Whiteoak / The National

Leading defence industry chiefs on Monday hailed the landmark Abraham Accord agreements between the UAE, Bahrain, the United States and Israel, saying the historic move to normalise ties has created new opportunities for collaboration that will be for the benefit of all.

Speaking at a webinar organised as part of the Global Aerospace Summit 2020, Alan Davis, the chief executive of Raytheon Emirates, said the agreement between the UAE and Israel would “benefit all of us, whether it’s inside the defence industry or not.” The event took place online due to the pandemic.

The Abraham Accord to begin the process of normalising ties between the UAE and Israel was brokered by the US and signed in Washington in September.

Mr Davis said the peace agreement “completely changes the geopolitical landscape”.

“The opportunities that it opens up for us in multiple industries and economies will be eyewatering,” he added.

Raytheon Emirates was launched in 2017 as a wholly owned subsidiary company incorporated and headquartered in Abu Dhabi. It provides the UAE with state of the art air defence systems as well as cyber security.

Jon Gruen, a founding partner of leading defence technology consultancy firm Gothams, said he had seen “immense excitement and energy around this new relationship” between the UAE and Israel, from defence industry startup companies and venture capitalists alike. “I expect a lot of growth in this area,” he said.

A whole host of industrial sectors in the UAE have already moved to boost business with Israel.

Dubai’s Jebel Ali Free Zone (Jafza) on Saturday signed an agreement with the Federation of Israeli Chambers of Commerce (FICC) to build new partnerships.

A day earlier, the Dubai Airport Freezone Authority (Dafza) also closed ranks with the FICC in a bid to grow bilateral business relations and support Israeli companies’ efforts to establish a foothold in the UAE.

The UAE and Israel have also discussed investment opportunities in the energy sector. In all, the UAE estimates the value of the business deals likely to follow on from the normalisation of ties with Israel at up to Dh2 billion.

Updated: September 28, 2020 10:26 PM

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