Launch of direct commercial flights between UAE and Israel, now that the historic accord between the countries is a reality. And those flights will be the springboard for UAE – Israel businesses opportunities.
The timing on the direct flights will depend on technicalities around COVID-19, because the air travel pact could be ready for direct flights from mid-October/early November.Saudi Arabia announced that it would allow any flights going to and from the UAE to fly over its territory. Such historic developments would speed up the entire process to launch direct flights between the UAE and Israel.
Some UAE companies are not waiting for the flights to commence. Abu Dhabi based Group42, which is into cloud computing services, became the first to announce that it has set up an office in Israel.
Emirates NBD confirmed an MoU with Bank Hapoalim, one of Israel’s largest banks. It should be the first of many more in the financial services industry.
In the construction and building materials supply sectors, the UAE businesses are more than ready for a new market such as Israel, however, companies will have to see the tax regulations before entering the Israeli market.
UAE businesses also could benefit from Israeli investment, especially in real estate as the prices of real estate is four- to five times higher than in the UAE.
Ofir Bar-Noy is part of the newly created Emirates Israel Investment Group. According to him, there are three key sectors where the new partners could generate maximum opportunities:
Cyber security: Israel is home to leading surveillance companies and UAE is a strong base for cyber security, technology and surveillance.
Energy: In the recent past, Israel has become a regional renewable energy leader and has started to develop natural gas. The country has also heavily invested in green energy solutions. As of last year, the country had more than 1.4 gigawatts of solar power capacity, just behind the UAE and Egypt.
Agriculture: Israel is a world leader in agriculture featuring less use of water and despite high heat. Israel has strong research that has been studied and developed over the past 50 years and will help in promoting desert agricultural projects in the UAE.
Thye hospitality sector would gain from the launch of direct flights as well as the transit points the Dubai and Abu Dhabi airports serve as. Hotel industry sources say it’s only a question of when such a boost will be felt – a destination like Dubai would score given its short-haul status.
“Being two major economic powerhouses in Middle East, will help to build capabilities across both countries in sectors like healthcare, biotech, digital technology, education, energy, etc. As an healthcare organization born and brought up in UAE, we are looking for exciting partnerships with counterparts in Israel in various areas.” said Dr. Azad Moopen, Chairman and Managing Director, Aster DM Healthcare.
The UAE business sector needs more innovative ideas to enhance manufacturing and FMGC sector, specifically, on the building materials and infrastructure development sector, there are possibilities for UAE suppliers to reach out to Israeli market.
The UAE suppliers can look for opportunities to export steel manufactured in the UAE. We will explore the options of exporting steel pipes and tubes and pre-painted coils as well as debars to Israel from the UAE. This is because the UAE is strategically linked with proximity to the Arabian Ocean while Israel is strategically linked with Mediterranean Sea.