Businessman embarks on ‘dream’ road trip to Israel from the UAE by land

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Businessman embarks on ‘dream’ road trip to Israel from the UAE by land

Bruce Gurfein says he will spend three weeks driving through Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Jordan and Palestine

Michael Daventry is Jewish News’s foreign and broadcast editor

Bruce Gurfein after crossing the border into Saudi Arabia (Photo: Twitter/@BruceGurfein)
Bruce Gurfein after crossing the border into Saudi Arabia (Photo: Twitter/@BruceGurfein)

An entrepreneur has been documenting a 9,000-kilometre trip taking him from the United Arab Emirates to Israel by land to meet aspiring entrepreneurs in what he called a “dream come true”.

Bruce Gurfein, who is Jewish, will spend three weeks driving through Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Jordan and Palestine on a journey that would have been almost impossible a few years ago.

But a major obstacle was eliminated when Israel and the UAE normalised their relations as part of the Abraham Accords, meaning it is easier for a car with Emirati number plates to entire Israel.

Gurfein is planning to launch a platform to help businesses in the countries of the region cooperate with each other, particularly on food and desert technologies.

He told his followers on Twitter that he was “fulfilling a long-time dream, a long-time journey, a journey to combine and unite innovative technologies, ideas and platforms that will really bring the nations together.”

Despite the Accords being in force, the trip is not a straightforward one because Gurfein has had to arrange permits and insurance for each individual country.

He told The National, a UAE-based newspaper, that the formalities were costing him 20,000 dirhams (£4,500).

“There’s no one insurance firm that would cover me for the entire journey so I had to get separate policies in each country,” he said.

But he said the trip was an opportunity to meet potential clients: “Finding solutions to food security issues is something that is so crucial, especially in this region.

“There are so many talented people working in these sectors across the region and it’s important to be able to bring them together to look at possible solutions that could help so many.”

You can follow Bruce Gurfein’s journey through his Twitter account, @BruceGurfein.

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