Ahmed Bin Sulayem

Business between Dubai & Israel is soaring. We see the impact first-hand

Dubai is fast becoming the next big global hub for Israelis to do business. This is reflected in the soaring numbers of Israeli companies setting up in Dubai and we see the impact every day in DMCC where there has been a 25% increase in new Israeli members since the beginning of this year.

This is both a significant and symbolic development, and evidence of the blossoming trade in goods between Israel and the United Arab Emirates, which saw an almost 40% increase in the first four months of 2023 compared to last year, reaching over $990 million.

Nearly a third of Israeli companies registered in DMCC are in the precious metals and stones sector – specifically diamonds and gold – industries where Israel and the UAE are global leaders. More broadly, we are seeing a steady rise in other sectors too, such as financial services, technology and telecoms. This increase in both volume and variety is a positive sign for shared economic growth and sets the stage for more Israeli companies to extend their trade to countries they do not yet have access to, collaborating with enterprises, investors, and potential overseas partners in a vibrant, fast-growing ecosystem.

With Israel being world-renowned for its innovation and pioneering start-up culture, I believe Dubai offers a platform for Israeli businesses to thrive. DMCC sits at the heart of Dubai’s tech revolution, which offers a comprehensive environment for collaboration and fostering wider business relationships. In recent years, we have pioneered the development of a vibrant global tech ecosystem from blockchain to advancements in smart city tech. As we move to become one of the Israeli industry’s main entry points to the region, we are laying down the foundations and infrastructure needed for Israeli companies across sectors, especially technology. The UAE’s priorities for growth align well with Israel’s expertise in innovation, which naturally opens doors for collaboration and growth on a global scale and as the emirate edges closer toward achieving its transformation goals, economic diversification solutions will be a key area where we could really benefit from Israeli tech.

A key priority for us at DMCC is to offer the space and support to become a true incubator hub for companies in growing sectors. For example, our Crypto Centre is home to the largest concentration of crypto firms in the region and is solely focused on enhancing the global ecosystem for companies in the Web3 and blockchain space, a sector that we know Israel both adopted first and has turned its hand to developing.

Earlier this year we also opened our doors to DMCC’s Gaming Centre – currently home to more than 70 gaming companies including developers and producers, esports teams and tournament organizers. There are many networking benefits for companies as it provides unparalleled access to a vibrant community of gaming industry peers to unlock new opportunities for collaboration. Members have access to the wider esports community through regular events and esports tournaments and industry support from ecosystem partner YaLLa Esports, a leading esports organization in the UAE, as well as gaming-specific acceleration and market entry programs through ecosystem partner, AstroLabs. In the past eight years, over 800 tech-enabled businesses from over 25 countries have taken advantage of the opportunity and scaled their business through market entry, talent sourcing and expansion services in MENA.

Our leaders signed the Accords to bring peace and prosperity to the region and we are seeing that dream realized as the relationship is steadily fueled by the exciting level of knowledge-sharing, trade of expertise and growth in business by sector between our two countries. I am looking forward to seeing how UAE-Israel relations continue to flourish over the coming years. From diamonds to gold, energy to Agtech, and crypto to gaming technology, I believe the number of Israeli companies coming to Dubai will continue to grow and we look forward to welcoming them to DMCC.

About the Author
Ahmed Bin Sulayem is the Executive Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of the Dubai Multi Commodities Centre and has driven its growth from a start-up of 28 member companies in 2003 to the world’s leading free zone in 2023 with over 23,000 member companies from 180 countries, employing over 65,000 people. Mr. Bin Sulayem currently serves as the Chairman of the Dubai Diamond Exchange (DDE) and the Dubai Gold & Commodities Exchange (DGCX).
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