Jebel Ali port in Dubai. Israel has expressed its interest in leveraging Jebel Ali Port as a re-export hub for Israeli products. Image Credit: Gulf News Archives

Dubai: The mutual trade expected to grow to Dh15 billion in the next few years, generating more than 15,000 jobs, said Sultan bin Sulayem, DP World Group Chairman & CEO and Chairman of Dubai’s Ports, Customs and Free Zone Corporation.

According to Dubai Customs statistics, the emirate’s trade with Israel in the last five months (Sep 2020 -Jan 2021) reached a value of Dh1 billion and a volume of 6.217k tonnes. Of this, imports were valued at Dh325 million (718 tonnes), exports at Dh607million (5.4k tonnes), and transit trade at Dh98.7million (52.4 tonnes).

In the light of this exceptional growth, Bin Sulayem believes opening new markets and stimulating mutual trade between Dubai and Israel will encourage companies to increase production, leading to greater economic growth and more job creation.

Trade infographic
Trade infographic Image Credit: Government of Dubai

“The expansion of trade and investment between the two sides will benefit not only the business communities in the UAE and Israel, but also other stakeholders and business communities in the Middle East. This growth supports the vision of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, to forge closer cooperation and cross border partnerships with markets around the world,” said Bin Sulayem.

DP World signed an agreement with Israel’s Leumi Bank last September to facilitate trade and logistics services between the two sides, which will promote trade flows in the region. DP World also signed a series of cooperation agreements on cargo, port and free zone development with Israeli company Dovertower, as part of which they are launching a joint bid to privatise Haifa port. The agreement will enable DP World to contribute to facilitating trade between private businesses of the two countries. These agreements will also open a window for Drydocks World-Dubai to develop the Israeli dry docks and handle refurbishment projects.

Re-export hub

Israel has expressed its interest in leveraging Jebel Ali Port as a re-export hub for Israeli products to enable it to easily access neighbouring fast-growing markets such as India, Pakistan, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka, which have a combined population of more than 2 billion.

Ahmed Mahboob Musabih, Director General of Dubai Customs, stated that the volume of Dubai’s seaborne trade with Israel amounted to 5.7k tonnes (Dh82.8 million), while airborne trade reached 423 kg (Dh948.6 million). Dubai’s main imports from Israel include vegetables and fruits, diamonds and flat screens, hi-tech devices, and medical and mechanical devices, while exports include diamonds, smart phones, engine spare parts, perfumes and lubricants.

“Expo 2020 is a golden opportunity for Israel to introduce its services, products and opportunities to the world. We also look forward to Israel’s participation in the 5th WCO AEO Conference, to be organised by Dubai Customs in coordination with the World Customs Organization and the Federal Customs Authority. The event, expected to attract more than 2,000 customs, trade, AI, and e-commerce experts, will highlight the UAE’s status as a leading player in global trade,” said Musabih.