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DIFC and Start-Up Nation to Promote Innovative Business Ties Between UAE and Israel

Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC), a global financial centre in the Middle East, Africa and South Asia region and the Tel Aviv-based not-for-profit organisation Start-Up Nation Central have announced the signing of an agreement aimed at establishing new bridges between the UAE and Israel for innovation.

During a ceremony held at DIFC, Start-Up Nation Central VP of Strategic Partnerships Eliran Elimelech and DIFC Chief Business Development Officer Salmaan Jaffery signed the agreement and pledged to work together on promoting commercial agreements to benefit both nations, particularly in the fields of fintech and digital security.

As part of the DIFC Innovation Hub, the Centre offers the region’s most comprehensive fintech and venture capital environments, including innovative accelerator programmes at Fintech Hive, providing start-ups a bridge to UAE, regional and global markets. Over 60 per cent of all fintech and innovation firms in the GCC are based in DIFC. Israel is a globally recognised leader in innovative fintech solutions home to more than 530 start-ups that apply advanced technologies such as data science, biometrics, blockchain, and cyber to disrupt the traditional banking, finance and insurance sectors. As part of the agreement, the parties committed to facilitating introductions and mutual referrals of companies that are interested in scaling their operations in each other’s jurisdictions. This includes programmes such as regulatory sandboxes and accelerators to help innovative solutions’ providers with market access.

Arif Amiri, CEO of DIFC Authority, said: “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.”

Avi Hasson, CEO of Start-Up Nation Central, said: “DIFC is a strategic partner when it comes to innovative technologies in general and fintech in particular. We see great importance in fostering the relationship with DIFC as a central ally in the UAE and a strategic avenue aiding the development of the two ecosystems. 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.”

Representatives of Start-Up Nation Central are currently in Dubai taking part in the annual GITEX technological conference and tradeshow. They are attending the event with a delegation of 30 Israeli entrepreneurs and investors that are part of the UAE-IL Tech Zone, a community of innovators from both countries that Start-Up Nation Central supports.


  • Polly is a journalist, content creator and general opinion holder from North Wales. She has written for a number of publications, usually hovering around the topics of fintech, tech, lifestyle and body positivity.

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