UAE, Israel sign new agreement to build innovative business ties 

By Arya M Nair, Official Reporter
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DIFC AI Transforming Program

The Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC), the leading global financial center in the Middle East, Africa, and South Asia (MEASA) region, and Israel’s Start-Up Nation Central, a Tel Aviv-based non-profit organization, signed an agreement aimed at building new innovation ties between the UAE and Israel.

During a ceremony held at DIFC, Start-Up Nation Central VP of Strategic Partnerships Mr. Eliran Elimelech and DIFC Chief Business Development Officer Mr. Salmaan Jaffery signed the agreement and pledged to promote commercial agreements that benefit both countries, particularly in the fields of FinTech and digital security.

The Centre, which is part of the DIFC Innovation Hub, offers the region’s most comprehensive FinTech and venture capital environments, including innovative accelerator programs at FinTech Hive, which connect start-ups to UAE, regional, and global markets.

Arif Amiri
Arif Amiri
CEO – DIFC Authority

“Today, we have an opportunity to strengthen commercial relations between the UAE and Israel, especially in the FinTech sector. As the region’s hub for financial services, FinTech and innovation, DIFC is well regarded for promoting and nurturing innovative and disruptive enterprises that have the potential to be the next unicorns from the region. Our partnership with Start-Up Nation Central will enable us to foster a culture of collaboration among entrepreneurs and innovators in both nations and further build a vibrant ecosystem to advance the FinTech sector.”

DIFC is home to more than 60 percent of all FinTech and innovation companies in the GCC. Israel is a global pioneer in creative FinTech solutions, with over 530 start-ups changing the traditional banking, finance, and insurance sectors using advanced technologies such as data science, biometrics, blockchain, and cyber.

Mr. Avi Hasson, CEO of Start-Up Nation Central, said, “Following the anniversary of the Abraham Accords, we see this agreement as a manifestation of the innovation diplomacy efforts taking place in the region. We believe it will be an excellent platform for future collaborations, transforming the lofty ideas set out by the states’ leaders into on-the-ground results.”

The two parties agreed to facilitate introductions and mutual recommendations of companies interested in expanding their activities in each other’s jurisdictions. This includes programs like regulatory sandboxes and accelerators that help innovators in gaining market access.

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