UAE’s G42 teams up with Viola in Israel to address worldwide tech employee shortage
The joint venture, Global Valley, will be based in Abu Dhabi and steer programmers to companies around the world
TEL AVIV – A government-owned technology company in the United Arab Emirates and Israel’s largest private investor in tech firms launched Thursday a joint venture aimed at providing computer engineers and other skilled employees to businesses around the world.
The new company, Global Valley, will be based in Abu Dhabi, the UAE’s capital, and address an international shortage of programming talent. It’s the product of collaboration between Abu Dhabi’s G42, which has interests ranging from biotechnology to artificial intelligence, the Abu Dhabi Investment Office (ADIO) and Israel’s Viola Ventures, which has $5 billion in assets under management, they said in a statement.
Global Valley is also a banner project for the Abraham Accords, which normalized ties between the UAE and Israel in September 2020 and has generated $3.8 billion of trade volume between the two countries. G42 is controlled by Sheikh Tahnoon bin Zayed, the UAE’s national security adviser and younger brother of UAE President Mohamed bin Zayed, ruler of Abu Dhabi.
The new company will strengthen Abu Dhabi as a “dynamic hub for technological advancement and business prowess,” G42 Group Chief Executive Peng Xiao said in a statement on Thursday. Avi Zeevi, a co-founder and general partner of Viola, said Global Valley “will provide tech companies, in Israel and globally, with the best-of-class tech talent to fuel their future growth and support their activities in the region.”
While the ongoing global economic slowdown has led to layoffs that increased the supply of tech workers, the industry expects the employee shortage to grow. A study by the consulting firm Korn Ferry predicts a global talent gap by 2030 of some 85 million employees in the telecommunications, media and technology sector.
Since the normalization agreements, ADIO has also collaborated with OurCrowd, a Jerusalem-based venture capital that established an AI development center in Abu Dhabi, and Liquidity Group, a Tel Aviv-based lender specializing in fintech companies that opened an R&D center in the UAE capital. In December, Abu Dhabi’s ADQ investment firm agreed to buy control of Phoenix Holdings, Israel’s biggest insurer, for about $675 million. The deal is under regulatory review in Israel.
Global Valley “builds on the enthusiasm generated by the Abraham Accords, which continues to create important collaborations in sectors focused on innovation and advanced technology,” said ADIO Director General Abdulla Abdul Aziz AlShamsi.