Hello friends, UAE and Israel relations present a green-field opportunity - with significant first-mover advantages for entrepreneurs who get in early. In the past year, the UAE-IL tech zone has had the privilege of being at the forefront of these activities - building exciting new avenues of collaboration across technology, entrepreneurship, business, venture capital, and the public sector. The Abraham Accords created a new realm of possibilities for businesses in the region. In 2022, these possibilities started to materialize - and unsurprisingly, the technology sector is leading the way. Here’s a quick recap of the key initiatives we’ve led this year, and a sneak peak at what’s in the works:
Creating new business opportunities for unicorns and growth stage companies
In June, we collaborated with our strategic partners at the UAE’s Ministry of Industry and Advanced Technology (MoIAT) to send our first delegation of unicorns and early growth companies from Israel to the UAE.
Nine Israeli tech companies - operating in the fields of HealthTech, FinTech, and sustainability - met with prominent stakeholders and took their first steps towards understanding and entering the UAE market. Two of them have started working with a local distributor in the region, while another company is in talks with UAE energy groups. The opening event featured 150 guests including VCs, government, investment groups, media, startups, and entrepreneurs.
Developing the next generation
of tech leaders
This year, along with our partners at Birthright Excel and The Aviram Foundation, we’ve created the first-ever young leadership in tech program that brings together the UAE, Israel and the US.
40 talented executives from the tech world (venture capital, entrepreneurship, corporates, government and more) gathered virtually every Sunday to discuss regional challenges and how to tackle them through tech. Beyond knowledge sharing, this program laid the foundation for future collaboration and long-term business relationships. The next step will be moving from virtual to in-person: a three-day gathering in the UAE in January 2023, featuring high-level sessions with officials and successful tech entrepreneurs.
Creating new avenues
for knowledge sharing
Throughout dozens of webinars and in-person meetups, the UAE-IL tech zone has become one of the leading platforms for education and knowledge sharing between tech leaders in the UAE and Israel. Standout events so far included:
Women in Business and Hi-Tech in the UAE, Israel, and MENA region (in collaboration with Start-Up Nation Central) - featuring author Inbal Arieli, founder and Co-CEO of Synthesis and Alanoud Alhashmi, CEO of the Futurist company in the UAE
The launch of our Field Insights webinar series, featuring concrete tips and action items to turn UAE-IL collaboration from vision to reality, which opened with When UAE and Israel join forces for a healthier middle east: the untapped opportunities of health-tech, featuring Ezar Sofer, Co-founder and GM of C2i genomics and Marwan Abdulaziz, Executive Director of Dubai Science Park
An Israeli Delegation to Gitex (UAE)
A meetup held in collaboration with In5 and Microsoft for Startups discussing tech opportunities
A VC round table at the Capital Club (Dubai)
Welcoming new friends and strategic advisors
In its second year of operations, the tech zone has welcomed many new faces - including some amazing professionals and industry leaders who became friends. Building the leading community and platform for tech collaboration between the UAE and Israel requires diverse skills and personalities, and we were ecstatic to welcome a new group of strategic advisors, including:
Roberto Croci, Partner and Chief Investment Officer at Elysium Ventures and Head of Dubai at London Technology Club
Asher Fredman, Director for Israel at the Abraham Accords Peace Institute, and Founder of the Israeli-Emirati Forum
Michal Divon, UAE-based Israeli journalist and TV host working as Head of Shows at Khaleej Times, Galadari Brothers Group
Jonathan Steingesser, Dubai-based Head of Product Design at Omnipresent
News from our founding partners at Start Up Nation Central
Start-Up Nation (SNC), a non-profit organization that strengthens Israel’s innovation ecosystem, has been the founding partner of the tech zone from day one. Together, we are creating a vision of a stronger Middle East through technology, and join forces to give the region access to the latest innovations.
Since the signing of the Abraham accords, Start-Up Nation Central, has established a new pillar of activity: Innovation Diplomacy - partnerships that are rooted in business collaborations that address shared challenges.
In 2022 SNC led the way in numerous activities to forge resilient, long-term relationships in the region.
See how Start-Up Nation Central is bringing Israeli solutions to the world in their 2022 wrap-up video
A look to what’s ahead
The past year has been an incredible journey – but we’re certain it was just a teaser for what’s ahead. We have no intention of resting on our laurels, and already have a slew of activities and initiatives planned. Need some examples?
A massive project on ClimateTech leading up to COP28 in Dubai next November together with founding partner Start-Up Nation Central and strategic UAE partners
The CLUB: an invitation-only closed network of decision-makers, where we’ll collaborate on joint technology initiatives
Building ties in other GCC countries and further developing the regional tech ecosystem
More webinars, events, and great content than we can't list here
Israel and the UAE are the regional leaders in innovation, and we believe exchanging knowledge is the best way to move forward for both. We are excited to see how this vision can materialize in 2023 and beyond.
We’d like to thank our members, advisors, and everyone else who has been accompanying us on this journey - and invite you to stay on board for another year, as we continue to shape the future of an unprecedented and inspiring collaboration. And if you want to join us and unlock new opportunities for your tech business - reach out to our team today.
In the media
Here are some of the stories which mentioned the tech zone in 2022
Cover story on Global Trend Monitor
Al Watan (Arabic)
Al Bayan (Arabic)
The Marker (Hebrew)