UAE-Israel treaty could make Middle East more secure - DP World CEO

Sultan Ahmed bin Sulayem says deal could create ripple effect on trade relations, improve life between two states

Sultan Ahmed bin Sulayem, Chairman and CEO of DP World, speaks during a Reuters interview in Kigali, Rwanda October 21, 2019.

Sultan Ahmed bin Sulayem, Chairman and CEO of DP World, speaks during a Reuters interview in Kigali, Rwanda October 21, 2019.

REUTERS/Clement Uwiringiyimana

The recent landmark UAE-Israel diplomatic deal could lead to a more secure Middle East and build greater business and trade relations between the two countries, according to a top official.

Sultan Ahmed bin Sulayem, chairman and CEO of DP World, said that with the signing of the treaty, entrepreneurs from Israel could finally come out of “isolation” and set up their business in the country, including Jebel Ali, the company’s flagship free zone.

The two countries could also exchange knowledge and expertise that will be mutually beneficial, including in the areas of trade, technology, doing business and logistics, among others.

“It’s about ability of both to trade and do business. We need something from them in technology. They need something from us. They need our market; they need our location. They need to learn how we do business in UAE, because the way we do our business is totally different. They’ve been in isolation for a long time,” Sulayem told CNN in an interview.

In August, Israel and the UAE made a significant diplomatic breakthrough by signing a pact for the “full normalisation of relations” between the two countries. The deal is seen to benefit the two countries, with trade being one of the immediate beneficiaries.


Israeli Intelligence Minister Eli Cohen had said that the annual trade between the two countries could reach $4 billion.

Sulayem said Israel could also easily reach out to other huge markets by establishing ties with the UAE, such as those in South Asia, home to nearly two billion people.

“Jebel Ali is a very active business community with far-reaching markets. We look at India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka and the surrounding. You get almost over two billion people. That is a market they like to reach. And the beauty is that reaching that market is so easy,” said Sulayem.

When asked if the new accord could also lead to peace in Iran, Sulayem said that any development in business between the UAE and Israel will have a positive effect on the region.

“As people create more business, everybody benefits. And who knows, it could be a positive step for them to maybe find a way to get out of this sanction issue that they have,” he added.

“The region is going to be more secure. Instead of disagreeing with people. Why don’t we agree at least look at what we agree on? Why don’t we look at it differently? This will impact making people’s life better. Who can disagree with that?” he added.

(Writing by Cleofe Maceda; editing by Seban Scaria)

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