New $10bn UAE fund for Israeli ‘strategic sectors’

A new UAE fund worth $10bn is to be set up to finance developments in ‘strategic sectors’ of the Israeli economy including energy, manufacturing, water, space, healthcare and agri-tech, it was announced yesterday following a ‘constructive’ phone call between UAE Crown Prince Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed and the Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. The fund will support development initiatives to promote regional economic cooperation between the two countries.

The launch of the fund follows on from last August’s Abraham Accords, the joint statement signed by Israel, the UAE and the US, which marked the first public normalization of relations between an Arab country and Israel since that with Egypt in 1979 and Jordan in 1994. Its purpose is to bolster economic ties between two of the more successful economies in the reason by using wealth creation to relieve underlying tensions in the region.

El Al flighty lands in Abu Dhabi August 2020Even before the launch of the new UAE fund, the accord had triggered a wave of deals and initiatives starting with El-Al’s first-ever commercial flight between the two countries two weeks later. There are already at least 250 Israeli companies trading with the UAE. Most recently Gulf-Israel Green Ventures (GIGV) and the UAE’s United Stars Group signed an MoU bringing Israeli green technologies to the UAE and the wider Gulf region, while introducing Emirati technologies to Israel. One of the initial projects within the framework of the MoU will be to work to integrate Israeli urban green technologies into commercial and residential real estate projects, including one currently being developed on Sheikh Zayed Road in Dubai.

Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI) yesterday announced plans to co-develop an advanced anti-drone system with an unnamed UAE defence contractor. The Counter-Unmanned Aircraft System (C-UAS) will include ‘soft-kill’ solutions such as electronic jamming and cyber takeovers, and ‘hard-kill’ capabilities including guns, missiles, electro-magnetics and lasers, as well as advanced command and control.