Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC) has entered into an agreement with Bank Hapoalim, one of Israel’s largest banks. Both entities will benefit from a wide range of mutually beneficial opportunities.

Bank Hapoalim is one of Israel’s leading banks engaging in corporate and private banking services. Founded in 1921, Bank Hapoalim is a publicly-traded banking corporation organised and operating under Israeli law, listed on the Tel Aviv Stock Exchange (TASE).

The agreement announced today will enable DIFC to further support the UAE facilitate economic growth from the finance and innovation sectors. Additionally, it supports the DIFC vision to drive the future of finance from Dubai. Bank Hapoalim will become part of DIFC’s global network of banks, financial centres, regulators and companies that are disrupting the financial and technology sectors and embracing the highest legal, regulatory and operating standards.

The alliance marks a step towards Bank Hapoalim establishing its first regional presence outside Israel to access banking and innovation opportunities in the Middle East, Africa and South Asia. Both parties recognise the importance of working together by sharing knowledge, hosting delegations and promoting industry events. Investment and FinTech specialists from Bank Hapoalim will be invited to participate in exclusive events such as the forthcoming DIFC FinTech Hive Investor Day.

Commenting on the agreement, Arif Amiri, Chief Executive Officer of DIFC Authority said: “DIFC, the Middle East, Africa and South Asia’s leading financial centre is pleased to welcome Bank Hapoalim as a global partner. Our partnership provides Bank Hapoalim with access to the most developed, broad and deep financial ecosystem in the region, allowing them to capitalise on the most lucrative banking, capital markets, asset management, innovation and FinTech opportunities available.

“We hope this agreement will provide us with a unique Dubai-Israel opportunity to accelerate our future of finance agenda and stimulate innovation with Bank Hapoalim through the DIFC Innovation Hub.”

Dov Kotler, CEO of Bank Hapoalim said: “The agreement signed with Dubai International Financial Centre is an important milestone. We hope to serve, extend and strengthen the financial relationship between our two countries. It will enable Israeli FinTech entrepreneurs a gateway to the dynamic and vibrant Dubai ecosystem, and help foster cross border innovation, the corner stone of the Abraham Accords which were signed only a few months ago. It is an honor to be the first Israeli bank to construct this important bridge for innovation.”