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Abu Dhabi’s G42 signs deal to improve UAE tech skills

G42 tech skills WAM
The deal with Global Valley will offer UAE nationals internships, exchange programmes and collaborations with local universities
  • Deal with Israel’s Viola Group will see collaboration with universities
  • Agreement is third ADIO joint venture with an Israeli company
  • 2021 Abraham Accords signing boosted UAE-Israel ties

Abu Dhabi’s artificial intelligence company G42 has set up a joint venture with Israel’s Viola Group to address skills shortages in the tech sector.

The venture will be known as Global Valley.

A study by Korn Ferry estimated that by 2030 there will be a global talent deficit of approximately 85 million employees in the telecommunication, media and technology sector alone.

Global Valley, which will be based in the UAE capital, is aimed at “bridging that gap”, according to a statement from the Abu Dhabi Investment Office (ADIO), which is providing support.

Global Valley will offer UAE nationals internships, exchange programmes and collaborations with local universities.

Viola, a private equity firm in Herzliya, has over $5 billion in assets under management.

The scheme will recruit globally as well as Emirati professionals and offer a variety of services, from standard technology roles to artificial intelligence and machine learning specialists.

“The company will meet the increasing worldwide demand for top technology talent, supporting companies in the UAE, Israel and around the world to innovate and grow,” Abdulla Abdul Aziz AlShamsi, director general of ADIO, said.

The value of investment from each entity was not revealed.

A survey by PwC revealed that 75 percent of employees in Kuwait, 60 percent in Qatar, 58 percent in Saudi Arabia and 46 percent in the UAE believed their country had a shortage of people with specialised skills.

A two-day fintech careers fair, held in Riyadh in March, involved more than 50 companies showcasing 600 job opportunities. Over 8,000 people attended.

Buoyed by the signing of the Abraham Accords in 2021, the joint venture follows recent collaborations between ADIO and Israeli companies Liquidity Group and OurCrowd. 

Fintech company Liquidity Group became the first Israeli company to join ADIO’s innovation programme, establishing a research and development centre in Abu Dhabi. 

OurCrowd is expanding its Abu Dhabi operations with a new venture capital office and AI tech hub.

Private trade between the UAE and Israel reached $2.56 billion last year, excluding software, putting the UAE at number 16 out of Israel’s 126 trading partners.

In the first four months of 2023 trade reached $990 million. The expectation is that this will rise to around $3 billion by the end of the year.