UAE delegation oversees several agreements signed with Israeli tech startups

A recent UAE delegation to Tel Aviv is yet another herald of the tightening business ties between the two nations.

Right to left: UAE Ambassador to the State of Israel, Mohamed Al Khaja; ADGM Chairman, Ahmed Jasim Al Zaabi; and TASE CEO, Ittai Ben Zeev (photo credit: KOBI WOLF)
Right to left: UAE Ambassador to the State of Israel, Mohamed Al Khaja; ADGM Chairman, Ahmed Jasim Al Zaabi; and TASE CEO, Ittai Ben Zeev
(photo credit: KOBI WOLF)

Hot weather and good ideas are two aspects of Israel and the United Arab Emirates that have acted as binding glue between the countries since the signing of the Abraham Accords. Following that historic agreement, Israel and the UAE have cooperated extensively in the business arena, hosting meetings, funding conferences, signing memorandums of understanding (MoUs) and sealing deals to make both sides that much more prosperous.

On Monday, that trend continued, as the official delegation from Abu Dhabi arrived in Tel Aviv to further explore the nations’ cooperation by exposing the Emirati delegates to leading Israeli companies listed on the Tel Aviv Stock Exchange (TASE).

For two days, the delegation participated in a joint business forum co-organized by the TASE and the Abu Dhabi Global Market – the leading international financial center in Abu Dhabi – in collaboration with the Embassy of UAE at Israel. The event was notably fruitful, yielding several MoUs aimed at strengthening the nations’ economic cooperation and enabling various business opportunities related to cybersecurity, artificial intelligence, blockchain, data and privacy protection and more.

“I hope to see the leading companies in both countries build on the strong foundations in place... to cooperate and forge business ties and create fresh ventures reaching new markets,” said UAE Ambassador to the State of Israel Mohamed Al Khaja. “This will, in turn, create jobs and drive further economic growth for the benefit of all Israelis and Emiratis.”

TASE CEO Ittai Ben-Zeev emphasized the importance of the continued expansion of Israel and the UAE’s business relationship.

An electronic board displaying market data is seen at the entrance of the Tel Aviv Stock Exchange, in Tel Aviv, Israel January 29, 2017 (credit: BAZ RATNER/REUTERS)An electronic board displaying market data is seen at the entrance of the Tel Aviv Stock Exchange, in Tel Aviv, Israel January 29, 2017 (credit: BAZ RATNER/REUTERS)

“We must open up the Israeli market to the Eastern Hemisphere as well. Greater diversity of economic relations will place Israel in a better position to counter the rising cost of living,” he said.

Advancing bilateral relations

“Combining Israeli technologies with the Emirati innovative and entrepreneurial mindset … can further entrench business ties, and through those, deepen the people-to-people ties that form the foundation of bilateral relations.”

Avi Hasson, CEO of Start-Up Nation Central

Avi Hasson, CEO of Start-Up Nation Central (that cosigned one of the delegation visits’ many MoUs) added, “Combining Israeli technologies with the Emirati innovative and entrepreneurial mindset... can further entrench business ties, and through those, deepen the people-to-people ties that form the foundation of bilateral relations.”

Start-Up Nation Central has done a lot this year to capitalize on the window of opportunity opened by the Abraham Accords. Earlier this year, the organization co-hosted a conference in Morocco intended to cross-pollinate the West African country’s business sector with Israel’s.

“Israeli innovation – agri-tech, water technologies, even energy and logistics – it’s an uncharted market for Africa,” said Hasson during a press briefing at the conference. He elaborated that while Morocco isn’t necessarily the only potential gateway into Africa for Israel, it’s “certainly part of the Moroccan agenda, to be positioned in that way and create that gateway.”