Abu Dhabi Investment Office to Open First Outside Office in Tel Aviv

Office will be used to 'connect innovators from around the world to solve global challenges,' statement says

Reuters
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File photo: the Tel Aviv skyline
File photo: the Tel Aviv skylineCredit: Amir Cohen/Reuters

The state-run Abu Dhabi Investment Office is to open its first office outside the United Arab Emirates in Tel Aviv, the Abu Dhabi Media Office said on Wednesday, following normalization of relations between the UAE and Israel.

"Tel Aviv is the first in a planned network of international offices that will support companies looking to expand their operations in Abu Dhabi, and to connect innovators from around the world to solve global challenges," the statement on Twitter said.

Normalization of relations became official on Tuesday, when Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu inked agreements between Israel and two Gulf states, the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain, at the White House.

Speaking after U.S. President Donald Trump ahead of the signing, Netanyahu repeated the president’s claim that he is "lining up more and more countries" to sign peace agreements with Israel.

"This peace will eventually expand to include other Arab states, and ultimately it can end the Arab-Israeli conflict once and for all," Netanyahu added.

Hours before the signings on Tuesday, Bank Leumi said it had signed memorandums of understanding with First Abu Dhabi Bank and Emirates NBD which would help enable the countries to implement economic relations.

On Monday, Hapoalim, Israel's biggest bank, said it had signed a memorandum of understanding with Emirates NDB, Dubai's largest bank.

According to the memorandums, the banks agreed to advance ties with financial institutions in both countries, providing services such as clearance, credit lines, and foreign currency trade.

Leumi said its subsidiaries Leumi Partners and Leumi Tech would help forge ties between Israeli companies and UAE investors and wealth funds.

Earlier this month, Bank Hapoalim’s CEO Dov Kotler said that there is an "immediate bilateral desire" to establish strong economic ties between Israel and the UAE.