Agreement will see a new medical tech hub set up and a push for international cooperation on medical projects.
By Yakir Benzion, United With Israel
With the official signing of the Israel-United Arab Emirates (UAE) peace deal at the White House a week away, Arab investors are wasting no time finding Israeli business partners.
On Thursday, the Sheba Medical Center became the first hospital in Israel to forge an agreement with the UAE, announcing that it inked a deal with UAE’s APEX National Investment.
Under the Memorandum of Understanding (MOU), Sheba and APEX will collaborate on a range of healthcare projects.
Specifically, the two will address key medical challenges such as battling COVID-19, in addition to working on medical education through innovative simulation, as well as medical tourism and research.
“We believe that the agreement between APEX National Investment and Sheba will change the dynamics of healthcare and innovation in the UAE and act as a harbinger of ‘peace and prosperity’ in the Gulf region and beyond, where hope knows no boundaries,” said Sheba’s director-general, Prof. Yitshak Kreiss.
U.S. Ambassador to Israel, David Friedman, said the MOU was an indicator that the UAE-Israel peace deal was already making the region safer.
“It is fitting that the first significant partnership between Israel and the UAE is in health care. The Abraham Accords are already making the Middle East safer and more prosperous,” Friedman said.
Based in Abu Dhabi, APEX invests in different sectors including industrial, real estate properties, medical services, and investment management.
APEX will help fund what it calls the ARC Gulf Initiative, which includes a regional hub for a specialized work team, startups.
The hub will provide “comprehensive data infrastructure and an expansive network needed to springboard innovation in the region and beyond.”
Israeli companies and institutions specialize in leveraging vast quantities of medical data and the new center will “will harness healthcare data from the UAE, Israel and other partners in new ways.”
The two partners are looking at the big picture and say seeking to integrate international technologies with partners and customers.
“The agreement reflects the extent of the two countries’ interest in developing and reaching the highest standards in the field of health to serve the people in the region, as well as an extension of both states efforts in developing cutting-edge innovation in the medical field,” said APEX National Investment Chairman Khalifa Khoury.
Kreiss said the agreement said the deal with APEX is the culmination of a year-long effort after he made initial contacts at the “Peace to Prosperity Conference” held last year in Bahrain.
“We believe that the agreement … will change the dynamics of healthcare and innovation in the UAE and act as a harbinger of ‘peace & prosperity’ in the Gulf region and beyond, where hope knows no boundaries,” Kreiss said.
An official signing ceremony will take place Sept. 21-24 in Abu Dhabi, which will be attended by the UAE’s Minister of Health and members of the royal family.
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