Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC), an international financial hub in the Middle East, Africa and South Asia (MEASA) region, has inked a deal with Bank Hapoalim.

Under the latest partnership, both organisations will benefit from a suite of opportunities in the regional banking space.

The agreement will allow DIFC to help facilitate growth in the UAE’s financial sectors.

Bank Hapoalim will join DIFC’s global network of banks, financial centres, regulators and companies.

The lender, through this alliance, establishes its first regional presence outside Israel.

Moreover, both the entities will share knowledge, host delegations, and promote industry events together.

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Additionally, Bank Hapoalim’s investment and fintech specialists can participate in exclusive events like the upcoming DIFC Fintech Hive Investor Day.

Commenting on the deal, DIFC Authority CEO Arif Amiri said: “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.”

Founded in 1921, Bank Hapoalim is said to be one of the largest banks in Israel, offering corporate and private banking services.

Bank Hapoalim CEO Dov Kotler 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.”