Historic treaty with Israel to boost tourism
Last month, the UAE and Israel signed a Peace Accord at the White House in Washington. Bahrain also signed the Declaration to Support Peace with Israel at the ceremony. This historic peace deal begins to ease tensions in the Middle East and makes some ground for doing business.In the weeks ahead of and following the signing of the peace treaty, there have been a flurry of mutually beneficial activities in the region. For instance, The Abu Dhabi Investment Office plans to open an investment office in Tel Aviv, Israel as part its plans to establish a network of international offices to support global companies looking to expand their operations in the UAE capital. Khalaf Ahmad Al Habtoor, Founding Chairman of the Al Habtoor Group (AHG), revealed his plans to open a representative office in Israel in a recent meeting with Shlomi Fogel, Ampa Group, Co-owner, Chairman and CEO.
"I have always believed that Emiratis and Israelis have a lot in common. Both are business-oriented and have relied on human talent and ambition more than their countries’ natural resources to build robust, innovative economies"
- Khalaf Ahmad Al Habtoor
Al Habtoor said: “I have been looking forward to this day for a very long time. I have always believed that Emiratis and Israelis have a lot in common. Both peoples are business-oriented and have relied on human talent and ambition more than their countries’ natural resources to build robust, innovative economies. “The opportunities that this deal will present are great for both sides. I am confident this will open up new doors and lead to stronger economies, and closer cultural ties between the peoples,” he added. “Since the announcement of the normalisation of relationships between the UAE and Israel, we have received a large number of inquiries for collaboration in several fields, ranging from AI and technology, to agriculture, hospitality and trading. The possibilities are endless for both sides in our diversified fields and new ones, and we want to be present to grasp them.” Chairman Al Habtoor had previously disclosed that the Group had launched talks with Israir Airlines Ltd., a domestic Israeli carrier, to open direct commercial flights, and confirmed that the group was planning to unveil a few collaborations in the coming days. Emirates Flight Catering (EKFC), one of the world’s largest catering operations serving more than 100 airlines, signed an MOU with CCL Holdings founded by Ross Kriel, entering a partnership to set up a dedicated production facility for kosher food at EKFC’s premises in the UAE. The new partnership will be called Kosher Arabia, and production is expected to begin by January 2021. The experienced culinary team at EKFC will handle all food production, while CCL Holdings will provide certification and production supervision including support for menu development and foodstuff procurement. Meanwhile, a partnership between Gallery Suites Vacation Rentals LLC, and Smiling House, of Switzerland seeks to boost cross-border tourism between the UAE and Israel. The Swiss holiday rental management company, founded by Ira and Moriya Rockman, has a significant presence in the Israeli tourism market. The partnership of Gallery Suites and Smiling House extends the company’s reach across the world, including in major Israeli cities such as Tel Aviv and Jerusalem. The duo will jointly engage in discussions with operators in Israel to promote collaboration, and showcase their exclusive and premium properties, to eager tourists in the Jewish state. Gallery Suites has created a portfolio of meticulously curated luxury vacation homes, in some of the most sough- after locations in Dubai, with convenient access to the rest of the city’s attractions. “The historic peace accord, between the United Arab Emirates and Israel, is a new dawn in regional amity and cooperation”, says Khurram Shroff, Chairman of the IBC Group, holding group of Gallery Suites. “There’s already great excitement around the possibilities opening up and the huge potential for mutual growth.” “As is apparent from the extent we go to curate the stay of our guests, at Gallery Suites we have always considered tourism about being much more than recreation. People to people contact, and experiencing each other’s cultures, will form the basis of a truly integrated Middle East. We are especially keen to showcase the UAE’s renowned hospitality, by offering holiday homes that are strictly compliant with Kosher guidelines, for those of our guests that request such facilities. But of course, all while adhering to strict Covid-19 safety guidelines to safeguard everyone,” he adds.