Business & Economy

Israel deal to open more business opportunities for UAE’s Jewish community

Dubai, Sep 24 (efe-epa).- The signing of a historic agreement between the UAE and Israel to normalize ties between the erstwhile enemies has provided members of the small Jewish community living in the United Arab Emirates with a wide range of business opportunities.

Sarah Besnainou, a Jewish jewelry designer who used to travel to the United Arab Emirates from her native France over a decade ago to sell her products, decided to settle in Dubai six years ago along with her family and run a major holiday home business.

“Our life is good, but now it will be even better,” the mother of two tells Efe.

Besnainou says her biggest challenge was to help her children understand their culture when they were away from it.

“I would carry Kosher food in my luggage when I went home to celebrate holidays,” she said. But now that the UAE has normalized its relations with Israel, more Kosher restaurants are expected to open.

On September 15 at the White House in Washington, the UAE and Israel formally signed the normalization of bilateral relations, a step that, as well as triggering a range of reactions from approval to condemnation, has heralded a new era of economic, political and security cooperation for both countries.

The agreement has been quickly endorsed in the form of authorizations for telephone and banking connections, business rounds, institutional visits to collaborate in medicine and security, and even a direct flight between Jerusalem and Abu Dhabi.

Besnainou and other members of the Jewish community say that they expect more Jews to fly from all over the world, including Israel, to the UAE.

There have already been people flying into the UAE on other passports, as the normalization deal under the name “Abraham Accords” was only signed mid-September.

However, at one of the five star hotels in Dubai, many business negotiations are already taking place.

The hotel was under tighter security than usual, in the business lounge sat locals and residents of the UAE with different delegations from Israel.

Bruce Gurfein, a member of the Jewish community in the UAE, says Emirati money is “smart money.”

He says more business deals are expected to be signed within the next few weeks.

“It doesn’t matter where they (business partners) are from, when (the Emiratis) need something they will work with you.” EFE-EPA


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