UNIPaaS Payments Technologies, UAE Israel Innovation OfficeNoa Gastfreund
UNIPaaS Payments Technologies, UAE Israel Innovation Office
The Abraham Accords normalized relations between Israel and the United Arab Emirates. Among the issues discussed during this fascinating podcast include:
- What is the primary reason that the UAE decided to normalize relations with Israel?
- What is the likelihood that other Arab countries—such as Saudi Arabia, Kuwait and Oman—may normalize relations with Israel?
- What are the cultural inhibitors to Israelis and Emiratis transacting business together?
- Which Emirate industries have the greatest pain points, and thus greatest receptivity to Israeli technology?
- To what extent may warmer relations with the UAE help Israeli companies serve Muslim countries such as Indonesia and Malaysia?
- How might growing Emirate technologies in Israel foster better relations with Arab Israelis and Palestinians?
Noa Gastfreund, Vice President, UNIPaaS Payments Technologies
Noa Gastfreund is Vice President Of Business Development at UNIPaaS Payments Technologies and the Co-Founder of the UAE-IL Tech Zone.
Gilad Carni, CEO & Founder, The UAE Israel Innovation Office
Gilad Carni is the CEO & Founder of the UAE Israel Innovation Office and the Founder & Chairman of GC Marketing Services, a NYC-based nationwide promotional and event staffing company.
00:00:59 – I’m coming from a special angle to this kind of agreement, or normalization if you want.
I’m with the co founder of the Ul Text Zone. It’s a community that we launched the day Trump announced the normalization.
There was a great excitement here in Israel. Everyone just wanted to go there and see where the UAE is on the map, who are the people there and how we can collaborate with them. I think for us it was a very special moment. But as my friend mentioned, we are not as acknowledgable about this part of the world. And we thought that to build a bridge between the two ecosystem is something that is very much necessary.
Also now, but especially back then when no one knew nothing. So yeah, I’m coming from a special angle to this kind of agreement, or normalization if you want. When the Abraham occurred time, I was managing acceleration program called the Hybrid, in which we empowered Arab led startups in Israel. So the angle of bridging cultures through tech is something that I’m very much familiar with. It’s not that easy here in Israel. So we thought why not to take the challenge between two countries?
00:09:48 – We have a normalization agreement.
I do not know that they work with that being said, once it was signed in the UAE, everybody that I know, everybody that I’ve talked to all the business people, all the residents there have kind of shifted and all of a sudden, the next day they love this agreement. So the UAE as a country said, we have an agreement in Israel.
We have normalization agreement. The next day relationships between the state of Israel and the state of the United Arab Emirates were peaced and normalized. And in Israeli the next day landed in the UAE and would be accepted that with open arms. I can tell you that I am much closer, and not only me, but I know I can attest to it, or every Israeli that have touched base with an Emirati or even Palestinians that live in the immigrants are much closer to us,
unfortunately, than our neighbors that live 20 minutes from here in the West Bank or maybe an hour and a half from here in Gaza. So once it was decided that this agreement is signed, it’s a real piece. And me as a business person, the geopolitical reasons, I’m not too concerned now will other countries and I’m not talking specifically about the country that you mentioned will other countries join it?
00:28:23 – I’m sure there are some people, not just about the Emirates…
The UAE is kind of a pioneer in the region so they are doing things for the first time whether if it’s the accord or any other thing in terms of women’s promotion and other stuff that they are now trying to be very innovative about and other countries are following them so I guess it’s about the Emirates within the UAE?
Yeah, I’m sure there are some people, not just about the Emirates emirates are only 1 million of the population out of 9 million in the Emirates.
I’m sure not everyone in the Emirates is happy about this disagreement across the board so it’s kind of the situation now education and the people part and get to know each other and understanding the difficulties and understanding that not necessarily if we have a peace agreement or normalization agreement it means that everyone will be just friends the day after. I think I’m taking a bit different angle from what because this is my experience it’s not an instant, it’s not from today.
00:34:47 – The way that people work there and do business they got to gain trust from you and they got to wine you.
I actually think that it’s more of a cultural difference and I’ll go buy it again on a business, just a different business culture in the UAE. So Israelis are very similar to the Americans the way that we do business our morals and ethics. Legal system.
Business legal system. Our due diligence that’s why most not only is America the biggest market for us. Israelis tend to go to North America. Not Europe and not because it’s easier time difference and loan just because we do business the same way when we go two and a half or 3 hours east to the UAE even though they’re very close to us. They do business different than us and I actually think that at least the business community is very happy about it but just it’s a different time zone.
The way that people work there and do business they got to gain trust from you and they got to wine you and dine you and it’s very I’m sure. You know. A lot of Israelis probably that. You know. Have gone there Israelis like to fly on a business flight. Go there for three.
00:40:16 – I must say that there are vendors in the UAE, mostly of foreign nationals.
. I think everybody in the UAE expects you to open a remote office in the UAE. You have to have a license for this, license for that, have physical offices, do move your company or move employees to the UAE. Israelis, although we live in a very tough land, nobody wants to leave Israel.
The quality of life here is here. I don’t know anybody that has picked up suitcases as kids and moved to the UAE. Even though they offer you the skies, they really do tax free money back on R and D.
There’s a lot of free zones that you can do it. So I think it’s more about relationships and building those relationships than hiring local vendors. I must say that there are vendors in the UAE, mostly of foreign nationals. It’s their business too, and I say no. I agree with me. So probably a lot of them are reaching out to her as well.
They just reach out and they really try to organize the fees as the work permits, the residents, stuff like that. Israelis are not going to move there at the end of the day.
00:48:46 – So Israeli products have been used all over the world I think what the Abrams Accord is done is given opportunity for mid-size and small businesses and startups to get there without needing a lot of money
Israel has been doing business in that part of the world and in the UAE forever. And the way business was done in the past was big Israeli companies that were big enough for enterprises that were able to build subsidiaries in Europe and sell their product, services or technology via foreign nationals or Israelis with dual citizenship fly out there.
So if you were a big Israeli multinational, whether it be cyber defense or other industries, you’d be selling all over the world and you’d be selling in every country, regardless of the facts, as long as it’s legal. And some industries need to get permission from the government of Israel. But let’s just say it’s something that is just a product, any day product. So those products for those big multinational Israelis were very tech. They’re being sold everywhere.
We are all aware of Israeli chips and other products that are in your everyday consumer goods. So Israeli products have been used all over the world I think what the Abrams Accord is done is given opportunity for mid-size and small businesses and startups to get there without needing a lot of money but it’s also a trend that has been going on in the last decade or so it used to cost $500,000 to open a startup today the average cost is $5,000 the barriers of entry are opening a startup and the barriers of entry to get into these countries are also minimizing so you can take a $300 air flight there and get there in 3 hours and have some meetings so I think regarding industry and sectors it’s industry agnostic again it has to fall within the strategy of the client over there nobody is going to see a product and
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