’10 billion in investments’: Israel, UAE business set to boom, says Israeli trade expert

Israeli investors are eagerly eyeing opportunities in the Emirates, especially in the FinTech and cyber security fields.

By Lauren Marcus, World Israel News

The U.S-sponsored peace deal between the United Arab Emirates and Israel may lead to “$10 billion in trade within the next 5 years,” according to one Israeli international trade expert.

Adiv Baruch, chairman of the Israel Export & International Cooperation Institute, spoke about the potential for Israeli investments in the Emirates after the normalization agreement.

“It’s been known in recent years that there’s a great [Emirati] appreciation for Israeli technologies and various Israeli products, which have previously operated via third party companies and subsidiaries [in the UAE],” he told Israel Hayom.

Now, Baruch explains, Emirati and Israeli companies and investors can openly engage in mutually beneficial exchanges, trade, and investments.

“The meaning of the agreement is that the economic relations will be much more significant, as it is a direct and unmediated connection,” he said. “It will open up the channel of opportunities in a more meaningful way.”

“To date, it’s thought that indirect and direct bilateral trade amounted to $1 billion… I can say that from the first day of the announcement, the amount of daily referrals from significant business people and organizations from the UAE is unimaginable.”

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“Our job is to build the infrastructure in training and enrichment to prepare the business community for proper work in the Emirates. That way, we can increase trade over the next five years to $10 billion,” he said to Israel Hayom.

According to Baruch, the Emirates is in need of Israeli technology in the FinTech, digital health, cyberdefense, education, and agricultural fields.

With the Gulf nation now the fourth largest financial trading center of the world, the “Singapore of the Middle East” is interested in advanced e-commerce and financial technologies.

But Baruch warns that Israelis who are eager to invest must proceed with caution.

“The Export Institute recently held a large webinar with hundreds of Israeli companies to prepare and train the companies that want to operate in the UAE. They need to understand the limitations and regulations that exist in the area.”

Attorney Yaron Eli, head of department at Eli Nadler, Freidin & Co., a law firm specializing in helping Israeli companies that invest abroad, said investors must be aware of possible changes to the UAE’s tax policies.

“Dubai is one of the seven sheikhdoms in the United Arab Emirates. Between them, there is a free trade, tax-free zone,” he told Israel Hayom.

“Quite a few wealthy Israelis do business in the Emirates, but under the umbrella of foreign companies. The connection was never direct.”

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“In the Emirates, there is no income tax and no estate tax on individuals. Self-employed people do not pay taxes. But this may change in the future as part of the fiscal agreements [between Israel and the UAE] that are currently in the works,” he said.

“Israelis who currently maintain accounts in the Emirates that do not report to the tax authorities in Israel, may find themselves exposed to the transfer of information about their accounts,” he said.