The Abraham Accords’ First Anniversary

Exactly one year ago, the US-brokered Abraham Accords were signed by the UAE, Israel and Bahrain, and set the Middle East on course for a better and brighter future.

This historic agreement was made possible through Ambassador Yousef Al Otaiba’s op-ed in Yedioth Ahronoth, which outlined the benefits of normalization over annexation of the West Bank. Shortly after its publication, leaders from the UAE and several Arab countries began negotiating normalization deals.

In honor of the Abraham Accords one year anniversary, Ambassador Al Otaiba proudly joined influential leaders from around the world for an honorary celebration in Washington, DC.

White House signing of Abraham Accords

The anniversary event included an exclusive panel moderated by Robert Greenway, featuring Ambassador Al Otaiba, Israeli Ambassador to the US Gilad Erdan and Bahraini Ambassador to the US Sheikh Abdullah bin Rashid al-Khalifa.

Beyond Washington, DC, there were a number of influential organizations that commemorated the very first anniversary of the accords. This includes the Museum of Jewish Heritage in New York, Children’s Hospital in Philadelphia and the UAE Embassy in Israel. In addition, the US State Department announced plans for a virtual meeting online and the UAE announced the first-ever Abraham Balloon Festival, set to launch in May 2022.

Since the normalization deal was signed last September, Israel has significantly strengthened economic and cultural ties with its newfound allies. In terms of the UAE, bilateral partnerships have flourished in areas such as people-to-people connections, trade, health, technology, tourism and so much more. Here are just a few of the many shared achievements thus far:

  • HE Mohamed Al Khaja became the first UAE Ambassador to Israel.
  • Israeli Embassy in Abu Dhabi and Israeli Consulate General in Dubai officially opened.
  • HE Dr. Anwar Gargash paid a week-long visit to Washington, DC to better connect with his newfound US counterparts.
  • The UAE Embassy in Tel Aviv officially opened.
  • Amir Hayek was appointed as Israel’s Ambassador to the UAE.
  • HH Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed and Israeli Foreign Minister Yair Lapid signed an agreement on economic and trade cooperation.
  • DIFC FinTech Hive formally signed an agreement with Israel’s FinTech-Aviv to establish Dubai International Financial Centre as a global fintech hub.
  • Masdar and Israel’s EDF Renewables signed an agreement to explore renewable energy opportunities in Israel.
  • HE Mariam Almheiri signed an MOU with Israeli Minister of Environmental Protection Tamar Zandberg to pursue joint research efforts to tackle climate change, biodiversity and global conservation.
  • The UAE welcomed Israel to participate in Expo 2020 Dubai.
  • The Abu Dhabi Film Commission, Israel Film Fund and Jerusalem Sam Spiegel Film & Television signed an agreement to collaborate in film and television.
  • The UAE Pro League signed an MOU with the Israeli Professional Football League to advance joint football activities.

To see the full list of UAE-Israeli achievements this past year, click here.