Israeli tech meets Dubai; interviews on history and current Israel-Gulf relations

Growing support for F-35 sales, Israelis at GITEX and museum coexistence tours this week

This week saw another list of firsts in Israel-Gulf relations as a group of Israeli mayors made their way to Dubai as part of a delegation, a Memorandum of Understanding was signed with a museum in Dubai, Israel’s Foreign Minister Gabi Ashkenazi spoke to the Manama Dialogue conference and masses of Israelis flocked to GITEX, knitting together the rapidly expanding hi-tech worlds of Tel Aviv and Dubai.

We present two exclusive interviews this week to highlight the emerging ties between Israel and the Gulf.

Dr. Yoel Guzansky is a Senior Research Fellow at the Institute for National Security Studies (INSS) specializing in Gulf politics and security. In an interview with Seth J. Frantzman posted below Guzansky looks back at the history of Israel-Gulf ties based on his decades of experience. Read the full interview here.

Jamal Al Musharakh is Director of Policy Planning Department at the United Arab Emirates Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation. He talks about the Abraham Accords and Abu Dhabi’s expectations, read the full interview here.

Scroll down below the photo for more content we covered this week.

Israel’s Minister of Sport and Culture conducted a virtual tour of the Crossroads of Civilization Museum in Dubai on December 2 and on December 6 a Memorandum of Understanding was signed between The Heritage Center for Middle East and North Africa Jewry in Jerusalem, Israel and The Crossroads of Civilizations Museum in Dubai, UAE on December 6. Eran Taboul, head of the heritage center and Ahmed Obaid Al Mansoori of the museum signed the MOU. This was followed by other events with Jerusalem Deputy Mayor Fleur Hassan Nahoum in Dubai and other events with the UAE-Israel Business Council’s Dorian Barak.

On December 4 Israel’s IAI and Gulf Air in Bahrain announced an agreement. IAI has also partnered with Group 42 in the UAE.

At the IISS Manama Dialogue Conference Israel’s foreign minister participated for the first time. Dore Gold of the JCPA also flew to the event.

The inaugural UAE-Israel Future Digital Economy Summit at GITEX also presented “vast opportunities for business collaborations, investor networking, sharing of ideas and experiencing mind-boggling innovations of two of the world’s most future-driven nations."

Fly Dubai has increased its schedule to three daily flights from Tel Aviv, with estimates hoping some 50,000 people may fly the route on a number of carriers and weekly flights could reach 60 total from several airlines. The first Israir flights began arriving in Dubai.

Bahrain’s Trade and Tourism minister came to Israel, meeting his counterparts. His was the second ministerial visit and third high-profile visit from Bahrain.

Dubai’s DMCC opened an office in Tel Aviv underpinning not only trade but focus on diamonds as a unique part of the new trade relations.

A new Hebrew institute is scheduled to open in the UAE and The Jerusalem Post partnered with Khaleej Times for a conference. We spoke to Israel’s consul general to New York about the new expanding relations.

There is growing consensus in support of F-35 sales by the US to the UAE, important discussions about the topic took place at The National Interest, MSNBC and in our pages.

Also please check out our continued coverage of things to see and do in Israel for visitors from the Gulf.