As CEO of Precognize, I’ve just returned from my first, but definitely not my last, business trip to the United Arab Emirates. It was a momentous experience which holds great promise for Precognize and the SAMSON group. 

Precognize was invited to join a delegation of Israeli startups and entrepreneurs that attended Gitex, the Gulf Information Technology Exhibition, which is held every year in the UAE. The delegation from Israel was organized by Bank Hapoalim and the Israel Export Institute, to take advantage of the opportunity to create warm ties with Emirati businesses. 

An in-person conference experience

It was strange and exciting to be at an in-person conference again. There were plenty of precautions, with everyone wearing masks, no handshaking, and more space around the chairs than you’d normally expect. Like every other visitor to the UAE, I had to take a COVID-19 test before I set off and another when I arrived in the country. 

The conference itself was much smaller than normal, with around 1,200 businesses instead of the 4,500 that attended in 2019, but it’s still noteworthy as one of the few in-person tech trade shows taking place in 2020. 

A warm welcome for Israeli innovation

The government and businesses in the UAE are all very enthusiastic about the potential of Israeli innovation, and there’s a general atmosphere of progress and a desire to build and improve the nation. The country itself is filled with people from almost every country, so it has a global feel, and of course beautiful and “larger than life” due to the amazing architecture. 

It was quite amazing to be able to freely wander the streets as an Israeli. I felt fully welcomed whether on the show floor or on my morning jogs. It all feels so different compared to just a few years or even a few months ago, when the UAE seemed like a remote destination. But the country is just a 3-hour flight from Tel Aviv, and we’re thrilled that the gates are open. 

The first steps of Israel-Emirati connections

This warm welcome that Emirati businesses are extending to Israeli startups is extremely heartening, and we are so excited about the new partnerships that lie ahead! Business connections are mushrooming between the two nations, and non-oil trade is soon predicted to reach $4 billion. It feels like every corporation in the UAE wants an Israeli name on their list of clients or partners!

My sense is that SAMSON is on the brink of exciting new developments. We’re bringing the technology that Emirati companies desire, and they’re positive about doing business with us. SAMSON’s main prospects lie in the Emirate of Abu Dhabi, bringing innovative predictive analytics solutions to their oil and gas refineries and other process manufacturing plants. 

A Zoom meeting in Dubai, between Ouissem Ouremi, Mubarak el-Ketbi, our busines partner, and myself.

I wasn’t able to visit Abu Dhabi on this trip, but I did hold web conferences with local companies who are interested in working with us in the future. SAMSON’s local representative, Ouissem Ouremi, joined me on these meetings, and he’s already working with many customers there. Hopefully, on the next trip, we will take the next step of meeting in person in Abu Dhabi. 

It takes time to build every relationship, and business relationships are no exception, and the first steps are very promising. The sentiment towards Israel in the UAE feels very positive, and there’s a lot of excitement about SAMSON’s solutions and in particular SAM GUARD from Precognize. I’m looking forward to working with new clients and friends in the UAE.