Breaking new ground
Gulf Business|January 2021
Israeli tech companies make debut at Gitex Technology Week 2020
DAVID NDICHU

Gitex Technology Week 2020 marked a major milestone for the regional tech sector.

Israeli companies participated for the first time, officially introducing technology from the ‘startup nation’ to the GCC market.

The involvement follows the Abraham Accords agreement between the UAE and Israel signed in September 2020 to normalise ties. Trade, travel and even telephone communication between the two countries were restricted before this.

One of the Israeli companies attracted to Dubai was Kramer Electronics, which manufactures professional audio/video (AV) products. Kramer’s range includes input and output devices like screens, video walls, microphones, and cameras, as well as the connecting products, from cable connectors extenders, routers, switches, amplifiers, converters, signal processors, and others.

On top of that, the company has added layers of applications such as wireless collaboration and presentation, control, network management, group scheduling, and more. Headquartered in Jerusalem, the company maintains 20 offices around the world and employs 500 people, half in Israel and half scattered across its global offices.

“The UAE was a market where we were unable to operate despite many local companies in the UAE being eager to work with Kramer based on interactions at industry events like IFC and InfoComm,” says Samuel Bonomo, executive VP at Kramer.

“Everything happened very quickly once the normalisation of the relationship between Israel and the UAE was announced. In less than three months, we received a wave of inquiries from companies that wanted to sell, buy and integrate our products here,” Bonomo explains.

Within that time, Bonomo says the company managed to open discussions with over 10 companies. Two weeks later, Kramer signed an exclusive distributorship deal with Abcom Distribution, part of a UAE-based technology company called Almoe. Kramer exhibited at the Almoe stand at Gitex.

“The UAE and Israel were very keen to work together; we just needed opening up to allow the current state of cooperation to take place,” says Bonomo.

“I am very impressed in the way technology has been driving the development of both industry and services in this country. The UAE is very keen to attain even more technology, and hopefully, Israel will be able to provide some of that,” he adds.

BuiltUp Ventures is a venture capital firm that invests in innovative early-stage Israeli real-estate tech startups.

The UAE, with its mercurial real estate developers, was a natural destination for the company soon after the peace accord was in place, according to BuiltUp Ventures managing partner Oded Eliashiv.

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