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Dubai Is Bait In War For Coding Talent Fought By Israel Startups

Dubai Is Bait In War For Coding Talent Fought By Israel Startups

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One of Israel’s fastest growing technology firms is opening a Dubai office to lure international talent as a way around the chronic labor shortage plaguing the industry at home.

Rapyd, a payments firm that twice raised $300 million in funding rounds this year, started a large advertising campaign this week targeting coders in eastern Europe open to relocating to the Middle East financial hub, where the standard of living is higher and which imposes no income tax.

It’s a remedy that may increasingly appeal to other startups navigating a market where job openings far outnumber applicants as record investment pours into Israel.

Chief Executive Officer Arik Shtilman said in an interview that Rapyd plans to staff about 100 people in the new branch within 18 months. More than 10 Israeli startups have already sought his advice about opening an office in Dubai, he said.

“We won’t be the only ones,” Shtilman said. “In 12 months time, you’ll see quite a lot of Israeli companies opening there.”

A landmark deal last year to establish diplomatic ties with the UAE means Israel’s companies can dangle the extra perk of relocating to Dubai.