Benelux business council Abu Dhabi

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  • 21 May 2020 19:49 | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    In response to the economic challenges arising from the coronavirus crisis, the Luxembourg government announced on 25 March 2020 the launch of a massive stabilization program for the national economy. Measures for a total of €8.8 billion will help companies face the immediate shortage of cash and maintain employment. Prime Minister Xavier Bettel outlined the content of the stabilization program, which includes different measures adding up to a budget of €8.8 billion, or over 14% of GDP. The initiative testifies to the government's firm determination to support the national economy. According to the Prime Minister, it is made possible by Luxembourg's "very performing economy and strong finances". The measures aimed at preventing the spread of the coronavirus have brought many companies to a complete or near stand-still, and while staff can work from home in some cases, in others, activity has virtually ceased. The government has therefore made the short-term employment mechanism, by which the state covers 80% of salary costs during the period of inactivity in order to avoid that employees are made redundant, widely available. €500 million per month are now being set aside to cover theses costs, and an accelerated procedure has been put in place to deal with support requests and process payments.

    The government has also reserved a monthly sum of €200 million to provide advance payments of the costs related to the extraordinary family leave that is being granted to parents having to care for their young children at home while schools and childcare facilities remain closed.

    The workforce in Luxembourg is characterized by a very high number of cross-border workers from France, Belgium and Germany who are subject to strict limitations on the number of days per year that they can work outside the Grand while still falling under the Luxembourg tax regime. As the exceptional circumstances now oblige many of them to work from home, agreements have been concluded with Belgium and France to temporarily wave the limit regarding the amount of days they can work at home without being taxed in their country of origin.


  • 19 May 2020 13:58 | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    In an effort to support businesses and individuals and bolster the emirate's economy at this time, the Abu Dhabi Government has introduced the Abu Dhabi Economic Stimulus Package and the Financial Initiatives programmes.

    The Abu Dhabi Economic Stimulus Package comprises of 16 wide-ranging initiatives to support businesses and individuals in Abu Dhabi. The key aims are to ensure continuous economic growth, preserve economic gains, lower cost of living and provide financial relief.

    The Financial Initiatives programme was developed with FAB, ADIB and ADCB in coordination with the Department of Finance and the Department of Economic Development. It comprises of 17 initiatives that seek to reduce finance-related costs, and to improve the ease of access to financing for individuals and small to medium-sized enterprises (SMEs).

    For more information on the Abu Dhabi Economic Stimulus Package visit:

    For more information on the Financial Initiatives programme visit:

  • 9 May 2020 18:53 | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    The Gothams-Hub71 Aerospace and Defence accelerator program at Hub71, the global tech ecosystem located in the heart of Abu Dhabi, will provide a place to develop your ideas with access to incredible knowledge, connections and venture networks.

    If you are an aerospace and defence-related start-up that would love to access the growing number of mentors, teammates, and sponsors that create the foundation of the Gothams-Hub71 Accelerator program, and get 120KUSD to accelerate your company, please read below and apply!

    The Gothams-Hub71 Accelerator program is helping to build the next generation of aerospace and defence start-ups. We provide the resources and connections to help empower companies to successfully own their vision and accelerate into the aerospace and defence industries. The 12-week program at Hub71 includes:

    • Investment ($120k for 6%)
    • Partner Support (Regular 1:1 Meetings + Office Hours)
    • Programming Including Speakers, Mentors, Demo Day
    • Office Space in WeWork / Hub71 (Co-working desk space with access to printers, conference rooms, event space)
    • Housing in Abu Dhabi (Resort Hotel - Residence for up to 2 people)
    • Legal Support: Basic Setup & Incorporation
    • Access to all WeWork / Hub71 Resources (Slack Community, Deals & Discounts, Events)
    • Accountability for Your Goals and Growth
    • Connections to Our Network of Founders and Access to Our Silicon Valley Network
    • Fast track application for Hub 71 long term incentive program (up to 2 years free housing and co-working desks)
    For more information or to apply:

  • 29 Apr 2020 06:22 | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    King’s Day, also known as the Dutch National Day celebration, marks the birth of King Willem-Alexander on 27th April.

    Ambassador of the Kingdom, Lody Embrechts, expressed his gratitude for the UAE’s friendly gesture, especially during these unprecedented times where people cannot meet and celebrate together.

    “I would like to sincerely thank the United Arab Emirates and Emaar for this heart-warming token of our friendship,” he said.

    “The Burj Khalifa symbolises the UAE’s strong ambition, the many cultures present in the UAE and the nation’s long-term vision. It is a privilege to have our national colours presented on this iconic building,” Embrechts stressed.

    The envoy continued to say, “I would also like take this opportunity to wish you all a Ramadan Kareem. I hope this holy month will build upon the spirit of dedication and collective effort that has emerged in the UAE and around the globe.

    “We will get through this and the Netherlands look forward to share an exciting future with the UAE,” the ambassador said.

    King’s Day is a national day in the Netherlands, during which the country is covered in orange and celebrations abound. For many Dutch citizens abroad the annual celebration is a festive high point.

    It is the perfect opportunity to meet and catch up with each other. King’s Day is also a unique moment for Dutch diplomatic missions to thank local authorities and businesses for the enjoyable collaboration.

    In light of the global COVID pandemic, the Netherlands’ Minister of Foreign Affairs, Stef Blok, had decided to cancel King’s Day at all of the more than 150 Dutch embassies and other Dutch diplomatic missions abroad.

    “Given the rapid spread of the Corona crisis around the world, it is only logical to cancel the usual festivities this year,” Blok said.

    In the Netherlands, the Dutch celebrated from home and online via a dedicated website where the King spoke and citizens were encouraged to share videos with music, poetry, theatre performances, games and other initiatives.

    The platform showed pupils singing the Dutch National Anthem, Wilhelmus, together online; international choreographer Annabelle Ochoa Lopez teaching dance moves, as well as citizens playing traditional games while respecting social distancing rules and youngsters cooking for the elderly, said the statement.

    Source: Emirates News Agency

  • 3 Mar 2020 14:17 | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    The Abu Dhabi Investment Office (ADIO) has made an investment of $16.3 million (Dh60 million) in the latest batch of startups and fund managers applying to its ventures fund. The recipients, Securrency, TruKKer, Sarwa, Yacob and Okadoc, are innovation-focused companies that are either based in Abu Dhabi or expanding into the emirate. ADIO also signed its first investment in a venture capital firm, UAE based Global Ventures.

    ADIO’s Ventures Fund opened in May 2019, as an initiative of the Abu Dhabi Government’s Ghadan 21 accelerator programme. The fund is supporting the growth of Abu Dhabi’s startup and venture capital ecosystem by increasing access to capital and stimulating the number of high skilled jobs in the UAE capital’s growing technology sector.

    Dr Tariq bin Hendi, director general of ADIO, said: “The Ventures Fund was created to deepen Abu Dhabi’s innovation ecosystem and ensure big thinking is not constrained by limited capital. Once a startup is operational, Abu Dhabi is safe ground for innovation and a place where entrepreneurs can confidently take commercial and creative risks. ADIO is passionate about supporting entrepreneurs, we want to give startups the opportunity to become the next regional, or perhaps even global, tech success story.”

    Global Ventures received funding through the Ventures Fund’s New Fund Manager Programme, which matches every dirham raised by the VC in the private market. The company is a growth-focused VC investing in revenue-generating enterprise technology companies that can scale and create impact in emerging markets.

    Noor Sweid, general partner of Global Ventures, said: “We are incredibly pleased to be working with ADIO on investing in the region’s technology companies and enabling them to scale and grow into success stories. The ability for entrepreneurs to work alongside the leadership and visionaries is truly unique and provides an advantage as these founders fulfil their ambitions.”

    Securrency, TruKKer, Sarwa, YACOB and Okadoc, received funding through the Venture Fund’s Startup Matching Programme, which matches dirham for dirham a lead investor’s commitment to an innovative startup, based in or relocating to Abu Dhabi. ADIO’s investments will work to spur further innovation in the capital.

    Securrency, part of Abu Dhabi Global Market’s (ADGM) RegLab and a winner of Hub71’s Incentive Program, is a pioneer of blockchain technology to support global digital securities transactions. “As early as 2017, Securrency recognised the leading role Abu Dhabi and the ADGM would play in the responsible, regulated global adoption of digital assets and we have maintained a strong presence in the emirate since,” said John Hensel, co-founder and chief operating officer of Securrency.

    “We applaud the efforts of the Abu Dhabi government to establish ADGM as an innovation hub and global leader in end-to-end financial technology services, and we are pleased to have ADIO as a strategic investor in Securrency. We are committed to Abu Dhabi and plan to house the bulk of our world-class software engineering talent at Hub71. Leveraging the dynamism of this technology-forward environment and the support of the visionary government of Abu Dhabi, we will develop and deliver our core digital securities technology in Abu Dhabi and contribute to further enhancing ADGM’s global reputation as one of the world’s most innovative financial centres,” Hensel continued.

    Sarwa - a tech-enabled financial platform that works on implementing time-tested investment strategies and developing a personalised investment experience - received more than $8.4 million in series A round led by Kuwait Projects Company Holding (Kipco) and joined by leading investors such as the Dubai International Financial Centre, Abu Dhabi Investment Office, Vision Ventures from Saudi, Hambro Perks from the UK, as well as existing investors that were part of the previous rounds.

    Mark Chahwan, CEO of Sarwa commented: “We are thrilled to have ADIO as an investor and strategic partner of Sarwa. This is a major endorsement of our company, and a testament to the success story we have created over the past two years. We believe that with ADIO’s support, we have a winning combination to continue our progress towards helping everyone in the region optimise their personal finance and make investing accessible, affordable and most importantly, transparent.”

    Trukker, a regional logistic platform for road-freight, brings innovation to trucking with on-demand aggregation. Its user-friendly interface makes it easy for customers to make automated bookings and real-time tracking of trucks. Gaurav Biswas, Founder and CEO of TruKKer, said: “We are thrilled with the investment from the ADIO. As an Abu Dhabi company, TruKKer’s growth in the UAE and the MENA region will receive a further boost from ADIO’s support. We are keen to invest in the overall upgrade of the road-freight ecosystem with the use of advanced technologies and innovation in traditional processes. It is very encouraging to see government institutions like
    ADIO investing in technology startups.”

    Okadoc, is an online doctor appointment booking platform that connects healthcare providers and doctors with their patients. Fodhil Benturquia, Founder and CEO, Okadoc, said: “Our mission at Okadoc is to build and deploy technologies to improve the healthcare experience for everyone involved. We are very excited to be working with ADIO to achieve this mission and be part of the UAE’s tech ecosystem that enables startups like us to successfully scale across the region and beyond.”

    Yacob, a seed stage startup, is helping to combat childhood obesity rates through an operating system for youth nutrition. Faisal Al Hammadi, Founder and CEO of Yacob, said: “The investment from ADIO has enabled us to fast-track our fundraising process which enables us to spend more time on execution, therefore increasing our chances of success.”

    In addition to the Ventures Fund, ADIO is working alongside partners like Hub71, twofour54 and the other free zones to continue to grow the emirate’s innovation ecosystem. ADIO’s role includes connecting with innovation-led investors and companies to help them maximise the use of Abu Dhabi’s infrastructure, from its research-led universities to its specialised free zones. 2020 will see Abu Dhabi open the world’s first AI university, the Mohamed bin Zayed University of Artificial Intelligence (MBZUAI), while free zones like ADGM, Masdar and twofour54 have dedicated programmes to support early stage businesses to thrive.

    Source: Khaleej Times

  • 3 Mar 2020 14:16 | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    DUBAI (Reuters) - The United Arab Emirates’ economy grew at 2.9% year-on-year in 2019, up from 1.7% in 2018, a UAE central bank report said.

    The country’s hydrocarbon sector grew at 7.6% in 2019, while the non-hydrocarbon sector expanded by 1.1%, the bank report said.

    The central bank said the UAE economy grew 1.3% in the fourth quarter from a year earlier, slowing from a pace of 2.9% in the third quarter.

    The International Monetary Fund expects the UAE economy to expand at 2.5% in 2020 as oil producers will be hit by output cuts following the decision by OPEC and non-OPEC producers in December to extend supply cuts.

    The UAE central bank report also said property prices in Dubai fell by 7.0% in the fourth quarter from a year earlier, compared with an 8.2% drop in the previous quarter.

    “The Dubai market continues to exhibit decline in rent due mainly to excess supply,” it said.

    Property group Knight Frank said in a report earlier this month that a total of 62,500 residential units are scheduled to be completed this year in Dubai, the biggest number of new units since 2008.

    For Abu Dhabi, the central bank said residential property prices fell 7.5% in the fourth quarter from a year earlier, moderating from a drop of 8.2% in the third quarter.

    Source: Reuters

  • 1 Mar 2020 14:13 | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    About Flanders Investment & Trade

    Flanders Investment & Trade (FIT) is the economic representation of Flanders abroad, well represented in the major trading nations.

    As a trade promotion agency we bring buyers into contact with Flemish producers. At the same time we help Flemish companies with their export plans.

    Our services are also focused towards providing advice and guidance to companies with an investment project in Flanders.

    Job description

    Flanders Investment & Trade (FIT) is looking for an Assistant to the Economic & Commercial Attaché (M/F) for its office in Dubai. You will be responsible for assisting the Attaché in the execution of his/her tasks. We’re looking for an enthusiastic and eager colleague who wants to be part of a small, focused team in a high-energy environment.

    • Pro-active information gathering and screening;

    • Answering of questions received by Flemish or local companies;

    • Prepare individual prospection trips of Flemish companies;

    • Desk top research and preparation of market studies;

    • Writing proposals to companies and answering questions about doing business in Flanders;

    • Regular telephone contacts with potential and existing contacts;

    • Organization of special projects and activities, especially in view of EXPO 2020;.

    • Participation in relevant trade shows and meetings with potential partners;

    • Database management;

    • Accounting;

    • Respond to email and phone inquiries;

    • Coordination with internal and external partners:

    • Keeping of office agenda;

    • Filing;

    • Administrative tasks.

    Skills and experience

    • Bachelor Degree, preferably in Commerce, International Business or similar;

    • Several years of experience in an international environment;

    • Knowledge of MS Office Suite, CRM , and Online Media;

    • Excellent communication skills;

    • Fluency in English, knowledge of Dutch and/or Arabic an important feature;

    • Ability to manage a wide variety of tasks and meet deadlines;

    • Comfortable interacting with ability to quickly forge professional relationships.

    Selection Procedure

    • Candidates should send a motivation letter, CV and salary expectations to the address mentioned below;

    • FIT will only contact applicants selected to go into the interview phase of the selection process;

    • One or more interviews will be held and could contain a written assignment;

    • All candidates invited for interview(s) will receive feedback at the end of the selection process.

    What we offer

    • A fixed full time contract, starting 1 April, 2020

    • A competitive salary package;

    • Open, informal and multinational working environment;

    • 2 days of vacation per month between 6 months and 1 year service. 30 days afterwards.

    IMPORTANT: FIT will not be able to sponsor a (working) visa for the UAE

    Please email motivation letter, CV and salary expectations to:
    Application deadline: 15th March 2020

  • 26 Feb 2020 14:11 | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    ABU DHABI, 25th February, 2020 (WAM)—The Emirates Diplomatic Academy, EDA, in collaboration with BeNeLux Business Council in Abu Dhabi, yesterday welcomed the ambassadors of leading European nations for an insightful discussion on economic diplomacy, titled ‘The New Frontiers of Economic Diplomacy’.

    Held at EDA, the stimulating panel discussion drew the participation of Elisabeth Cardoso, Ambassador of Luxembourg to the UAE; Lody Embrechts, Ambassador of the Netherlands to the UAE; Antonio Álvarez Barthe, Ambassador of Spain to the UAE; as well as Massimo Baggi, Ambassador of Switzerland to the UAE.

    Speaking on the success of the event, Bernardino León, Director-General of EDA, said, “We are immensely proud to have been able to host a remarkable line-up of ambassadors representing the great nations of Europe at our Academy. The discussion offered the audience keen and relevant insights on the importance of diplomatic relations in strengthening the economic might of nations, particularly so in an increasingly polarised 21st-century landscape.”

    He added, “Economic diplomacy plays a key role in influencing policy decisions of governments and international organisations. It is thus imperative that we, as a world-class diplomatic academy, turn the spotlight on the dynamic role that diplomacy plays in strengthening economies, and even more so, strengthening bilateral relations between nations.”

    For her part, Barbara Farahnick-Mathonet, Chairwoman of the BeNeLux Business Council, said, “The world economy has been undergoing a dramatic shift from the tripolar era centred on the United States, Europe and Japan through the 1990s, to a more multipolar age, including notably China or India. From relatively peaceful times, economic tensions or wars have emerged leading to new frontiers of economic diplomacy. Challenges are numerous, but failure is not an option and would put the economic welfare at risk. With expo 2020 around the corner, our distinguished panel will help us to better understand the situation.”

    As the premier diplomatic educational centre in the region, EDA combines academic programmes, training, research and analysis to consolidate the UAE’s leading role in international relations. The panel discussion was the latest in a series of talks headlined by
    distinguished speakers. In line with its mandate to qualify the UAE’s future diplomatic corps and offer thought leadership on international affairs, the Academy routinely hosts discussions on pertinent regional and global topics.

    WAM/Tariq alfaham/MOHD AAMIR

  • 3 Feb 2020 14:41 | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    FrancoFilm Festival Set For

    28 February – 7 March, 2020

    Abu Dhabi, UAE: Jan 21, 2020

    Created a decade ago, FrancoFilm festival aims at celebrating the French language through cinema. In the framework of the “Month of Francophonie” that is celebrated every year in March worldwide, cinema represents a powerful medium to celebrate the French language
    and its diversity.

    Today, FrancoFilm festival becomes an even more important rendez-vous locally since the UAE have been granted associate member status at the International Organization of La Francophonie (IOF) during the last the Francophonie Summit in Erevan in 2018. Moreover, 2020 marks the 50th anniversary of the International Organization of La Francophonie.

    During the past editions of FrancoFilm, francophone countries represented in the UAE have gathered their forces to propose an original selection of movies, while exploring new avenues and collaborations in the world of cinema.

    Echoing the “Season of African Cultures in France”, this year’s film line-up tends to explore the diversity of cultures in Africa and the common heritage of humanity, through documentary, action, comedy, animation and drama movies.

    The tenth edition of FrancoFilm festival is scheduled to take place in two separate venues: cinema Akil in Dubai and Edition Hotel in Abu Dhabi.

    The screenings in both venues ones are subject to regular ticketing.

    All non-English movies will have English, Arabic or French subtitles.

    Interested parties can find the film festival program or purchase tickets by visiting and

    Box office hours vary between venues. Patrons are encouraged to collect booked tickets 15 minutes prior to the session to avoid queues.

    About the organizers

    Cinema Akil is an independent cinema platform that brings quality films from across the world to the audiences in the UAE. Showcasing directors and filmmakers across the decades, Cinema Akil aims to create awareness and interest in film and the cinematic arts. Launched in 2014 as a nomadic cinema, Cinema Akil has held over 60 pop-up cinemas attracting over 35,000 attendees in Dubai, Abu Dhabi and Sharjah. In September 2018, Cinema Akil opened its first permanent location in Al Quoz, Dubai making it the GCC’s first arthouse cinema. Cinema Akil’s flagship home is brought to you in partnership with Alserkal Avenue. Cinema Akil is a member of the Network of Arab Alternative Screens (NAAS) which includes members from the MENA region such as Metropolis in Beirut, Zawya in Cairo and Cinematheque du Tangier in Morocco. Follow us into the dark // Facebook
    - Cinema Akil // Twitter - @CinemaAkil // Instagram - @CinemaAkil

    #followusintothedark #cinemaakil #alserkalavenue #dubai #uae

    The Institut français in the United Arab Emirates is the cooperation and cultural department of the French Embassy. It is responsible for promoting French creation, thought and language, as well as fostering bilateral exchanges and cultural, artistic, educational, academic and scientific partnerships between France and the UAE. It follows the cultural and educative aspects of the French-Emirati strategic dialogue.

    It is involved in a vast range of activities. It organizes cultural events in various fields such as visual arts, performing art, cinema and debates. It supports the French cultural and educative institutions, as well as cultural and creative industries in their development projects in the UAE.

    The year of the “French-Emirati Cultural Dialogue” celebrates the historical ties of friendship and cooperation between France and the United Arab Emirates, established upon the foundation of the Federation in 1971 and growing stronger ever since.

    About the “French-Emirati Cultural Dialogue”

    The “French-Emirati Cultural Dialogue” was born with the signing of a new cooperation agreement between France and the UAE on November 9, 2017, on the occasion of the visit of Emmanuel Macron, President of the French Republic, to Abu Dhabi and Dubai. This initiative aims to celebrate the friendship between France and the United Arab Emirates and to expand the scope of our exchanges and encounters in France
    between our two peoples.

    For more information, contact Mrs. Zohra AIT EL JAMAR, Regional audiovisual attaché (+971 50 104 3121)

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