Abraham Accords Backfiring on Israel-Dubai Trade

Finance and Trade
02/12/2021 17:53

Israeli news outlet Globes reports that the widely acclaimed Abraham Accords, often cited as a major breakthrough for intensified trade relations between Dubai and Ramat Gan, are in fact anything but conducive. Firstly the article says that in spite of what is often claimed, diamond trade between Israel and Dubai was significant before the diplomatic normalization. Now, as Israeli traders no longer conclude deals indirectly, via Hong Kong, Belgium or India, the two main Israeli banks (Mizrahi Tefahot Bank and Israel Discount Bank) encounter hurdles as they apply the international criteria in terms of anti-money laundering and terrorism financing for the due diligence on financial transactions with Dubai. According to the article, the Israeli banks state financial flows with the UAE are complex, and there is a lack in oversight on the Dubai free trade zone, or for example foreign entitities registered in the zone.This results in regular delayed and even canceled deals, often worth millions. Funds for example coming from the UAE are regularly frozen and remain unavailable to Israeli traders for many weeks or even longer.