Abu Dhabi Invites Israeli Bids for Contracts

Move comes as Israeli and UAE arms makers agree to collaborate on AI, big data

Hagai Amit
Reuters
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Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates
Abu Dhabi, United Arab EmiratesCredit: Hamad I Mohammed / Reuters
Hagai Amit
Reuters

In another milestone in relations between Israel and the United Arab Emirates, the Abu Dhabi Investment Office on Monday asked Israeli companies to bid for two government contracts involving public-private partnerships.

The first of the tenders by ADIO, a government hub responsible for foreign and domestic investment in Abu Dhabi, is for planning, financing and building three schools in the city of Zayed for 5,360 students and maintaining them for 20 years. The second is for the replacement of about 140,000 street lights throughout the emirate using LED technology. The tender includes a 12-year agreement with Abu Dhabi’s Department of Municipalities and Transportation.

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An Israeli team, retained by ADIO, will be approaching relevant Israeli companies about the tenders.

Israel and the UAE agreed to normalize relations in August, triggering announcements from businesses stating their intention to cooperate across the two countries.

The two projects are part of a 10 billion dirham ($2.7 billion) program by Abu Dhabi, one of seven emirates that comprise the UAE, to develop infrastructure based on PPP agreements.

In related news, the Abu Dhabi-based technology company Group 42 has formed a joint venture with Israeli state-owned Rafael Advanced Defense Systems to commercialize artificial intelligence and big data technologies, the companies said.

The joint venture, called Presight.AI, will have a research and development site in Israel and will develop products for sectors including banking, health care and public safety, to be sold in Israel, the UAE and internationally.

Dr. Tariq Bin Hendi, head of the Abu Dhabi Investment OfficeCredit:

UAE Ambassador to Israel Mohamad al-Khaja said the joint venture strengthened the relationship between Israel and the UAE and opportunities for bilateral economic growth.

G42 is an Abu Dhabi-based artificial intelligence and cloud computing company set up in 2018 that works with government and private clients. In September it became the first UAE company to open an international office in Israel.

UAE National Security Adviser Sheikh Tahnoon bin Zayed Al Nahyan is its chairman and a shareholder. Abu Dhabi’s sovereign fund Mubadala in November invested in G42 and last week U.S. private-equity firm Silver Lake invested to help the company expand.

The joint venture agreement is subject to regulatory approvals by Israeli and UAE authorities.

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