Group 42, an Abu Dhabi-based artificial intelligence and cloud computing company, will open a wholly-owned subsidiary in Israel.
The new office will allow it to access technologies and talents available in Israel and assist Israeli companies to expand their operations in the Middle East region, state news agency Wam reported on Thursday.
“The establishment of the new Israeli office will strengthen Group 42’s presence in the region and give us access to one of the most vibrant and mature tech ecosystems in the world,” Peng Xiao, the company’s chief executive, said.
“It also reaffirms our ideals of openness and inclusiveness as we engage with international partners to harness best ideas and capabilities and solve problems in every sector for the benefit of society," he added.
Group 42 will use its new office to focus on areas including healthcare, Covid-19 diagnostic solutions, artificial intelligence, smart cities, renewable energies, agri-tech and water supply solutions.
The UAE and Israel agreed to normalise relations last month. Businesses in both countries have since announced partnerships in different sectors. This is the first time a UAE company establishes an office in Israel.
Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed, the UAE’s Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Co-operation, is leading a high-ranking delegation to Washington for the signing ceremony of the UAE-Israeli accord on September 15.
In the past couple of months, Group 42 has partnered with various Israeli companies to conduct research.
Last month, G42 Healthcare – a subsidiary of Group 42 – signed an agreement with Israeli company NanoScent that specialises in scent reading technologies. This was to develop and distribute Scent Check, a device capable of detecting suspected cases of Covid-19 from a sample of exhaled nasal air.
In July, Group 24 signed two different deals with Rafael Advanced Defense Systems and Israel Aerospace Industries – two leading Israeli technology companies – to develop solutions to combat the Covid-19 virus.
Israel is home to more than 6,000 high-tech companies and start-ups, and leads the world in the number of scientists and technicians in the workforce, with 145 per 10,000, compared to 85 in the US.