Israeli investors and entrepreneurs will get their first glimpse of the tech opportunities available in the United Arab Emirates through an online event hosted by Emirates Angels in Abu Dhabi and OurCrowd in Jerusalem on October 13.
UAE Tech Investment Landscape: Introduction for the Israeli Ecosystem features some of the Emirates’ top business leaders and officials talking directly to Israelis for the first time.
Abdullah S. Al Naboodah, chairman of the Al Naboodah Investment Company in Dubai and a member of one of the UAE’s most prominent and successful business families, and H.E. Dr. Tariq Bin Hendi, director general of the Abu Dhabi Investment Office, will headline the broadcast.
“We’re really delighted to have signed with OurCrowd,” says Al Naboodah, who has created a $100 million partnership with OurCrowd to invest in startups throughout the region. “For our business, it’s vital that we were one of the companies that started the relationship with Israeli companies. We think a lot of startups in this region would like someone like OurCrowd to help them develop.”
“The UAE has always been the hub for the Arab world in terms of tech businesses. We’ve seen some sold for more than a couple of billion dollars. We think it’s the best-suited country in the Arab world to have these tech startups, with proven legislation and a proven track record with companies like Souq and Careem,” he says.
The similar size of the Emirati and Israeli economies, and their complementary skill sets, make them extremely compatible for joint business ventures, says Dr. Sabah al-Binali, recently appointed to head OurCrowd’s operations in the UAE and the Gulf region.
“These are two developed economies that are well integrated globally,” al-Binali says. “These countries have been near neighbors for a long time but they’ve never really had much contact. Now someone in the UAE knows there is a market, investment and partners in Israel just three hours’ flight away.”
“Everyone knows that the opportunity existed, and now that the opportunity from a legal perspective has presented itself, people are moving,” he says. “In the UAE, Israelis will find a friendly business environment with world-class regulators, sales tax of just five percent and no corporate income tax. For someone used to a corporate tax rate of 35 percent, that’s a 50 percent increase in profit right there.”
Emirati startups to be featured include World of Farming, which uses hydroponics and vertical farming to grow crops in the UAE’s high temperatures and humid climate; Urban, a platform that allows renters to view and visit properties and pay their rent online; and W Motors, creators of the UAE’s first electric supercar with hologram technology that allows drivers to control their GPS, radio and entertainment systems by clicking images floating in the air.
“The UAE ecosystem has developed rapidly in the last two years and there are many players that angel investors can tap into,” says Masaood al Masaood, chairman of Emirates Angels, a non-profit investors’ association based in Abu Dhabi.
“When we look at Israel, known as the Startup Nation, we have a lot to learn from the success stories over there in many fields like agritech, healthcare, artificial intelligence, security and many others where we can collaborate,” he says.
Jon Medved, OurCrowd’s CEO, says it’s “an exciting time for our two countries and their tech communities to be coming together.”
“UAE investors and entrepreneurs have demonstrated leadership and expertise in a variety of key areas ranging from smart cities to desert agriculture, healthcare, logistics and transportation,” Medved says. “The Emirati startups that we are already looking at and we find exciting are going to be very interesting for Israeli investors as they look for opportunities to invest in the UAE.”
“The warmth and enthusiasm from Emiratis toward Israelis has been incredibly heartening,” he says.
Register for ‘UAE Tech Investment Landscape: Introduction for the Israeli Ecosystem’ on Oct. 13 HERE