DIFC FinTech Hive, the largest financial technology hub in the Middle East, Africa and South Asia (MEASA) region, part of Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC), has signed a landmark agreement with Israel’s FinTech-Aviv.
FinTech Aviv was established in 2014 and serves the needs of the Israeli FinTech ecosystem and counts more than 6,000 start-ups and 300 research and development centres as members.
The agreement is the first of its kind for the UAE and Israel, and strengthens DIFC’s position as MEASA’s number one FinTech hub and one of the world’s top 10 FinTech hubs. The agreement announced today will enable DIFC to further support the UAE in facilitating economic growth from the technology and innovation sectors. Both parties will work together on events, knowledge sharing, talent development and facilitating mutual introductions and referrals for firms keen to expand in each respective jurisdictions.
The agreement follows the signing of the Abraham Accords Peace Agreement: Treaty of Peace, Diplomatic Relations and Full Normalisation between the United Arab Emirates and the State of Israel on 15 September 2020.
Raja Al Mazrouei, Executive Vice President of DIFC FinTech Hive said: “Like Dubai, Israel is well regarded for its approach to innovation and embracing FinTech so it is important to collaborate now to share knowledge and develop the sector further. We are pleased to have partnered with FinTech-Aviv as we can achieve great things together. DIFC is now home to more than 240 FinTech related firms and the opportunities for growth are endless.”
Since DIFC’s FinTech Hive launched in January 2017, the hub has grown to become a leading centre of innovation globally. More than 50 per cent of all FinTech businesses in the GCC now operate from DIFC. The first half of 2020 witnessed DIFC FinTech Hive triple in size with the opening of a larger space in Gate Avenue supporting start-ups, scale-ups and entrepreneurs.
Nir Netzer, the Chairman of FinTech-Aviv said: “In this unprecedented time of reaching out to promote peace in the middle east, we’re honoured to initiate this unique collaboration in order to facilitate the export of Israeli technologies to new markets.
“The FinTech-Aviv community and its 30,000+ Israeli and worldwide members, proudly hold the torch of this exciting initiative and are humbled to be leading Israeli FinTech companies towards the exploration of new horizons with our new business partners.”
The DIFC has also recently entered into an agreement with Bank Hapoalim, one of Israel’s largest banks and founded in 1921 and publicly-traded and listed on the Tel Aviv Stock Exchange (TASE). Both entities will benefit from a wide range of mutually beneficial opportunities with the agreement enabling DIFC to further support the UAE to facilitate economic growth from the finance and innovation sectors.
Dov Kotler, CEO of Bank Hapoalim, said: “The agreement signed with Dubai International Financial Centre is an important milestone. We hope to serve, extend and strengthen the financial relationship between our two countries. It will enable Israeli FinTech entrepreneurs a gateway to the dynamic and vibrant Dubai ecosystem, and help foster cross border innovation, the cornerstone of the Abraham Accords which were signed only a few months ago. It is an honour to be the first Israeli bank to construct this important bridge for innovation.”