Dubai’s DP World is working with an Israeli group to bid on one of Israel’s two largest ports and investigate the opening of a direct shipping company between the two Middle Eastern states, it said on Wednesday.
The announcement came a day after Israel and the United Arab Emirates signed a historic agreement to normalize ties and mark a major development in trade and economic cooperation.
The state-owned DP World in Dubai, which operates ports from Hong Kong to Buenos Aires, signed a number of agreements with Israel’s DoverTower, including a joint bid for the privatization of Haifa Port on the Mediterranean, one of Israel̵
“Israel has two ports, the port of Ashdod and the port of Haifa. They are strong ports with excellent location. If there is an opportunity, there is nothing to stop us from being present there,” DP World President Sultan Ahmed bin Sulayem told Arabiya TV.
DoverTower is owned by Israeli businessman Shlomi Fogel, a shareholder in Israel Shipyards and a partner in the port of Eilat.
Fogel said that as a result of the agreement, DP World will cooperate with Israel Shipyards on the joint venture that will participate in the tender for privatization in Haifa.
DP World and DoverTower said they would also investigate the opening of a direct shipping company between the Red Sea port of Eilat and Dubai’s Jebel Ali, the Middle East’s largest transhipment center.
“Our work to build trade routes between the UAE, Israel and beyond will help our customers make business in the region easier and more efficient,” said bin Sulayem.
Israel is selling its state-owned ports and building new private docks in an effort to encourage competition and reduce costs.
Haifa port needs to be upgraded to compete with a modern port being built in the area by China’s Shanghai International Port Group.
Israel Shipyards and Dubai’s Drydocks World will also explore collaborations on product manufacturing and marketing in Dubai.
Reuters news agency