UAE supports Palestine’s entrepreneurial talent pool

The country is poised to grow into the Arab world’s most prominent start-up hub amid plans to nurture 20 unicorns by 2031



Ali M. Younis, Palestinian Ambassador to the UAE; Habib Hazzan, Managing General Partner of Ibtikar Fund; Saeed Al Falasi, executive director, Future Design and Acceleration at Dubai Future Foundation; Alya Al Zarouni, Executive Vice-President Operations, DIFC; Hashim Shawa, Chairman of Bank of Palestine Group; Usama Sadawi, Minister of Entrepreneurship and Empowerment, Palestine; Youssef Habesch, Country Representative International Finance Corporation (IFC) and Rateb Rabi, Co-Founder and Managing Director of Intersect Innovation Hub. — Supplied photo
Ali M. Younis, Palestinian Ambassador to the UAE; Habib Hazzan, Managing General Partner of Ibtikar Fund; Saeed Al Falasi, executive director, Future Design and Acceleration at Dubai Future Foundation; Alya Al Zarouni, Executive Vice-President Operations, DIFC; Hashim Shawa, Chairman of Bank of Palestine Group; Usama Sadawi, Minister of Entrepreneurship and Empowerment, Palestine; Youssef Habesch, Country Representative International Finance Corporation (IFC) and Rateb Rabi, Co-Founder and Managing Director of Intersect Innovation Hub. — Supplied photo
by

Joydeep Sengupta

Published: Tue 1 Nov 2022, 7:04 PM

Last updated: Wed 2 Nov 2022, 1:49 PM

As Dubai welcomes the fourth edition of the International Conference on Entrepreneurship in Palestine (ICEP 4.0) at the Museum of the Future and DIFC Fintech Hive, several promising entrepreneurs and innovators spoke about their expectations from the two-day event.

Rafat Masri of Vatrin said: “We are honoured to be among so many promising Palestinian entrepreneurs who will demonstrate their talents and passion during the ICEP this year. We want to share our success in creating traction in a small and challenging market like Palestine. We are eager to meet strategic investors to join our current investment round in growing Vatrin’s success in new and promising markets.”

Thaer Samara of Safra is eager to tap into the growing opportunity. “In this digital era, as most communications are online, having the opportunity of a face-to-face meeting with investors is valuable, especially when it comes to Palestinian start-ups. Such an event breaks a lot of barriers and unlocks enormous opportunities,” he said.

Aws Alnabulsi of Gamiphy said: “ICEP 4.0 brings a unique and strategic opportunity to Gamiphy to showcase and connect with regional investors in the right setting. We are looking to promote a more positive view on us as a Palestinian start-up eco-system and encourage regional investors to partner with us for mutual beneficial returns.”

Suna Zoabi of Tawazon said: “Tawazon’s participation in ICEP 4.0 will allow us strengthen the connections and network with investors and potential partners in the Middle East.”

Peter Abualzolof of Mashvisor harboured similar views. “I would expect to connect with more of the Palestinian diaspora, and investors. Show what Palestinian startups have been able to achieve and reflect the growth potential of the Palestinian entrepreneurial ecosystem,” he said.

ICEP 4.0 is hosting Palestinian start-ups with export-ready innovations across fintech, edtech, insurtech, artificial intelligence (AI) and healthtech sectors and enabling them to pitch to some of the region’s most successful investors and venture capitalists (VCs) to help them scale across the Arab region.

Dubai is playing host to the event for the first time, reflecting the UAE’s standing as the leading start-up hub. The UAE continues to introduce economic, legal, and social reforms to not only attract excellence in innovation, but to back it up with countless opportunities for regional and international investments.

ICEP 4.0’s slogan “Innovative Palestine in the UAE; People & Potential”, proves more than apt as Palestinian entrepreneurs excitedly await the opportunity to forge their innovation into a tool for humanitarian and commercial growth.

They aim to play a pivotal role in transforming the UAE into a global hub for future-leaning business models.


More news from Start-ups