UAE-Israel private sector investment could exceed $10bn: Experts

By Rahul Vaimal, Associate Editor
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Bilateral investment between the UAE and Israel reportedly has the potential to reach $10 billion within a short period with the private sectors on both sides getting very active.

Jon Medved, CEO of the Israeli investment platform OurCrowd said that the normalization of relations between the UAE and Israel after the signing of the “Abraham Accord” peace agreement will be an “unbelievable game-changer” in the two-way investment sphere.

The governments of the UAE, Israel and the US are currently leading the way by setting up a joint $3 billion investment fund headquartered in Jerusalem, as part of efforts to normalize ties and foster regional economic development.

Mr. Medved, one of Israel’s most active venture capital investors stated, “But the real activity is happening in the private sector as there is a lot of enthusiasm on both sides. I dare say over $10 bilateral of bilateral investment action will be happening both ways”.

“The UAE investors coming into the Israeli tech market are among the most sophisticated in the world, likewise hi-tech Israeli investors going to the Emirates. It will result in building a Middle East tech hub. It has been a long-standing dream and it is happening now,” he further stated.

Mr. Medved added, “Abu Dhabi and Dubai are shining beacons of opportunity. There will be no better testbed for Israeli technology than cities in the UAE.” The broad partnerships will not stop at technology but also have positive ramifications in education, tourism, energy and security.

Medved’s OurCrowd, a platform for equity crowdfunding with more than 8,000 investors manages dedicated funds of more than $1.5 billion. Recently, it announced a partnership with the UAE firm Phoenix to scale up bilateral business and technology relations.

As per the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU), Phoenix, led by Abdullah S. Al Naboodah, chairman of Al Naboodah Investments, will act as an investment platform for Gulf-based individuals and family offices seeking opportunities to invest in the Israeli technology ecosystem. It marked the first announced alliance between a leading corporation in the UAE and a leading Israeli enterprise.

To raise investment through the OurCrowd network, the UAE group will act as a bridge between OurCrowd and Gulf-based startups and will assist Israel-based startups with potential Gulf area partners.

OurCrowd will recognize and fund UAE-based startups pursuing growth and development in Israel and leverage its portfolio for UAE startups seeking to partner on innovative solutions to improve business development.

Dr. Sabah Al Binali, a financial services executive, has been appointed by OurCrowd as a venture partner and head of the Gulf region for the Israeli company.

“OurCrowd’s global platform provides a perfect meeting point for startups, entrepreneurs and investors from the vibrant tech ecosystems in Israel and the UAE,” Dr. Al Binali added.