What has the UAE gained economically, strategically, and politically by establishing diplomatic relations with Israel that were impossible to gain otherwise?

Why does the UAE believe that the outcome will be different from the Egyptian experience in the years 1978 and onward? Apparently, Anwar el-Sadat used economic benefit as the primary selling point, which was never realized.

  • 1
    While I think this is a good question it does seem a bit broad and opinion based.
    – Joe W
    Sep 23, 2022 at 16:47
  • 2
    "that were impossible to gain otherwise?" I don't understand this part. Maybe impossible means not desired until now? Sep 23, 2022 at 17:41
  • 2
    What do you mean by "different from the Egyptian experience"? You mean they didn't end up quite like Syria (getting bombed by Israel 'round the clock whenever the Iranian militias do something in there?) And why is Egypt the yardstick? Because unlike Egypt, UAE has no border with Israel. So maybe their case is more like Morocco or something? Sep 23, 2022 at 18:37
  • @Trilarion The OP apparently suggests that this is so unlikely that they had to be drastic.
    – Barmar
    Sep 24, 2022 at 12:59

1 Answer 1


Apparently UAE and Israel have signed a free trade agreement. Don't ask me how much this is worth, but it definitely would not have been possible without establishing diplomatic relations first.

According to the Economist, even before the FTA iself was inked, trade between the two countries had taken off (although after 2020, when the diplomatic relations were established)

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And they offer this commentary:

Arab countries trade little with the world besides energy. Excluding oil and gas, the 22-strong League of Arab States accounts for only 2.7% of the world’s flow, despite having 5.6% of its population. Trade within the group is particularly sluggish. Just 18% of it is conducted within the region, compared with 34% in East Asia and 69% in Europe. This stifles development and keeps many Arab countries dependent on fossil fuels.

One reason is that there is no effective rules-based common market along the lines of the EU. Although the pan-Arab Free Trade Area (PAFTA), signed in 1997, lowered tariffs on goods within the region, it still has some of the world’s highest trading costs. By contrast, many exports from the EU into the region face fewer non-tariff barriers, according to a UN study. Many of the region’s economies are natural competitors, seeking greater market share for their energy exports, rather than producing different goods and services that can be traded between them. Israel, with its tech-focused, service-based economy and large defence manufacturers, offers new products and markets.


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