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Israel's fast-growing trade ties with the UAE





Mohamed Al Khaja helps press a button to ring the Tel Aviv Stock Exchange opening bell, setting off a cascade of gold paper hearts through the shiny glass building.


Cheers erupt as Mr Al Khaja, the United Arab Emirates' Ambassador to Israel, then shakes hands with Ittai Ben-Zeev, the boss of the exchange, and Ahmed Al Zaabi., chairman of UAE financial centre Abu Dhabi Global Market.


It's no ordinary opening of the main Israeli stock market. Instead, it's another milestone to celebrate in the deepening ties between Israel and the UAE.


It comes two years after the two countries signed the historic, US-brokered Abraham Accords together with fellow Gulf state Bahrain.


These statements saw the UAE and Bahrain agree to normalise relations with Israel, establishing full diplomatic ties. It ended the decades-long boycott of Israel by all Gulf states.


Emirati investor Sabah Al-Binali, part of the visiting UAE delegation, was all smiles as he watched the event in Tel Aviv earlier this month.


"We are witnessing history in the making, seeing the steady development of a long, deep and fruitful relationship between natural Middle East neighbours," said the executive chairman of investment fund OurCrowd Arabia.


Mr Al-Binali sees the growing business ties between Israel and the UAE as a win-win for everyone.


"There is so much natural synergy between Israeli and Emirati business and technology skills and experience, that I expect the results of our cooperation to be even greater than the sum of the already impressive parts.


"We are currently looking at joint projects in logistics, med-tech, ag-tech and cybersecurity, to name just a few sectors where work is already advanced."


Mr Al-Binali also pointed out that, at the conclusion of last month's visit, several business deals were agreed in principle.

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