Cyber, defense and water projects: Israeli companies have made billions working in the UAE
Companies like Logic, IAI, Elbit, and Tahal didn’t wait for official ties and have been doing business with the Gulf state for years
Golan Hazani | 09:04 16.08.2020
Israeli companies didn’t wait for a peace or normalization agreement in order to start activities in the United Arab Emirates. In recent years, Israeli companies have been doing brisk business there in the defense and infrastructure sectors. Executives in companies that worked in Abu Dhabi told of contracts that generated hefty revenues accumulating to billions of dollars. The first to start doing business there appears to have been Mati Kochavi and his company Logic Industries. Logic provided security services to the county’s oil drills and land borders after a contract was signed in 2008 between the local government and the Swiss company AGT that Kochavi owned. AGT subcontracted the project to Logic, which flew dozens of workers to UAE, including former Israeli military generals. The contracts expired five years ago.
The security ties did not pass over veteran companies like Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI) and Elbit Systems, who operated there to upgrade the local air force’s F-16 fighter jets. The companies even provided the UAE with hundreds of millions of dollars worth of military equipment, mostly defensive in nature in the fields of intelligence gathering and radar. Another Israeli company that sold its wares to the UAE was NSO Group, which reportedly sold the government there its Pegasus software, allowing it to break into phones and spy on their owners.