Rafi Peretz launches cooperation initiative with UAE

The initiative aims at bringing to Israel, and more specifically Jerusalem, thousands of tourists, hi-tech companies and exchange students.

MK Rafi Peretz, 2019. (photo credit: MARC ISRAEL SELLEM)
MK Rafi Peretz, 2019.
(photo credit: MARC ISRAEL SELLEM)
In the wake of the Abraham Accords and the successful visit of the Israeli delegation to the United Arab Emirates, the Jerusalem Affairs and Heritage Minister Rafi Peretz initiated cooperation between Israel and the UAE in various fields, with an emphasis on the city of Jerusalem. 
"Peace for peace is the proper concept. We are opening the city and inviting the entrepreneurs, tourists and residents of the Emirates to come to Jerusalem. The initiative will bring prosperity and strength to our capital, and will be a real bridge to peace," declared Peretz. 
Tourism in Jerusalem was severely disrupted in the last six months due to the coronavirus crisis. 
Peretz's plan is to bring thousands of tourists from the UAE who will travel in Jerusalem, stay in hotels, and can also pray at the holy sites in the city.
Collaborations between the two countries were also initiated in the field of hi-tech. In recent years, Jerusalem has been the cradle of about 550 hi-tech companies among which the most prominent were Mobileye, OrCam, Litrix, Via.
The city of Jerusalem is a base for start-up companies and incubators such as the business incubator in Givat Ram and the JVP complex. 
As part of the minister's initiative, a huge hi-tech international conference will be held in Jerusalem, with the participation of Jerusalem's hi-tech companies.
In addition, there will be a student exchange program between Jerusalem's academic institutions and Emirati institutions.
Strengthening the economic and technological aspects between Israel and the UAE, with Jerusalem at the center of the initiative, will give a significant boost and resonance to the normalization between the two countries.
Peretz instructed his office's director-general, Avi Cohen, to advance the issue, and a preliminary document has already been submitted to the acting director-general of the Prime Minister's Office, Ronen Peretz, and the director-general of the Foreign Ministry, Alon Ushpiz.