Dubai, Abu Dhabi businesses team up to help Israel firms enter UAE market

Emirati traders follow the stock market activity at the Dubai Financial Market in the Gulf emirate on December 6, 2009. (File photo: AFP)

Two companies in Dubai and Abu Dhabi are uniting in a joint venture to help Israeli companies set up business in the United Arab Emirates.

Dubai’s Virtuzone and Abu Dhabi’s APEX Holdings announced on Monday “Virtuzone Israel,” which will assist Israeli entrepreneurs and companies looking to access the UAE market through setting up company registration, work permits, visas, and other essential services.

Virtuzone Chairman Neil Petch told Al Arabiya English they have already seen “a lot of interest” from Israeli businesses following the signing of the UAE-Israel agreement last month.

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“Each country has its own unique set of circumstances and way of doing business. Getting set up can be arduous and come with red tape, and that’s what we are trying to help Israeli businesses with,” said Petch in an interview.

Views of Abu Dhabi, left, and Jerusalem, right. (AFP)

Views of Abu Dhabi, left, and Jerusalem, right. (AFP)

Virtuzone Israel will have a dedicated team whose members will understand Israeli business culture and know the Hebrew language, according to Petch, who said that the newly established UAE-Israel Business Council is helping identify companies in Israel that are looking to move into the UAE market.

As one of the largest economies in the Middle East, the UAE is home to two of the leading business cities in the world. Dubai ranked 17 and Abu Dhabi ranked 33 in the Global Financial Centers Index’s 2020 list of the world’s leading financial centers.

The country’s tax benefits make it attractive for business, including its 0 percent tax on corporate and personal income.

Direct flights between Israel and the UAE are expected to be set up by the end of the year, which would establish an estimated three-hour trip between the countries.

Abu Dhabi's Etihad Airways crew on the airline's first passenger plane to Israel. (Twitter/Etihad)

Abu Dhabi's Etihad Airways crew on the airline's first passenger plane to Israel. (Twitter/Etihad)

Petch expects fintech companies from Israel to be key in establishing business ties. He also predicted the first types of businesses to come to the UAE will be Israeli consultancy and service-based businesses due to their ability to set up faster than other sectors.

“We are excited to help the thousands of Israeli companies who are looking to create business operations in the UAE,” said Jewish businessman James Brenig, executive director of Apex Holdings, in a statement.

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Last Update: Monday, 26 October 2020 KSA 14:40 - GMT 11:40
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