On the second anniversary of the Abraham Accords establishing relations between the UAE and Israel, the feeling is palpable that the two countries have so far “just scratched the surface.”
The tangible results so far are eye watering with a trade jump over 500 percent to some $1.2 billion in 2021, from $190 million in 2020. In the first half of 2022, trade (imports and exports) with the UAE totaled $774 million.
Trade with Bahrain and Morocco, also part of the Abraham Accords, rose. Total trade with Bahrain in the first half of 2022, in the January-June period, exceeded that of all of 2021 — $8.2 million, compared to $7.3 million. Trade with Morocco totaled $83 million in January-June 2022, after it rose to $148 million in 2021 from just $69 million in 2020.
It’s not just economic gains causing excitement. UAE ambassador Al Khaja stated, “Just two years ago, we didn’t dream of this. A lot of Emiratis woke up for the first time here in Tel Aviv and gave themselves a reality pinch.”
“Working together, entrepreneurs and businessmen in Israel and the UAE can be a catalyst for change in the region,” he added. These relationships can show the world “that good things can happen in this region, to create a better narrative” and an “alternative path for our people.”
At a press conference this week, Prime Minister Yair Lapid said, “…we are changing the face of the Middle East. We are changing it from war to peace, from terrorism to economic cooperation, from a discourse of violence and extremism to a dialogue of tolerance and cultural curiosity.
To gain understanding of just how monumental these changes are, and a fascinating insight into how the Abraham Accords came about, watch this gripping interview between Jordan Peterson and David Friedman, who was a key player in the negotiations.