The philanthropist reflects on the unlimited opportunities for investment and cooperation between Israel and the Emirates after his recent move to the city
Sitting comfortably in his Dubai home overlooking the monumental spire of the Burj Khalifa, the world’s tallest building, entrepreneur and philanthropist Eitan Neishlos reflects on his recent move to Dubai and what it means to him. “The Abraham Accords have been a tremendous gift from the leadership in the UAE and the State of Israel,” he says. “In many respects, I feel like I am sitting under the shaded palm of the Abraham Accords. I feel very safe here, both as a Jew and as an Israeli.”
A little less than a year ago, Neishlos, one of the world’s young Jewish leaders and a pioneering businessman and philanthropist with over 20 years of experience working and investing in the fin-tech and financial industries in South Africa, Australia, and Israel, moved to Dubai. “I came to Dubai to grow and expand Neishlos Capital,” he explains, “because the Emirates is a professional home for companies and entrepreneurs and is a wonderful place to expand my businesses and their activities. I am very impressed with the business environment here, with the climate and conditions provided by the government of the UAE.”
Reflecting on a recent meeting that he held with Israeli Ambassador to the United Arab Emirates Amir Hayek, Neishlos explains, “Ambassador Hayek told me about the remarkable uptick in bilateral trade relations this past year with new records reached – there are unlimited opportunities for investments and cooperation between Israel and the UAE and it’s exciting to recognize that this is only the beginning.”
Eitan Neishlos has a unique business vision encompassing finance and social impact. During our wide-ranging interview, he explains the vision behind the companies he invests in and the unique relevance and value they offer both businesses and individuals in the Emirates.
Photo: Ziv Koren
Neishlos first mentions two fin-tech companies – Resonance Australia and CashD. Resonance is an international global leader in card-present payment infrastructure that turns credit card machines into smart devices. “We have highly sophisticated asset management technology and rapid product development capability,” explains Neishlos, “that enables credit card machines to run multiple products and solutions.”
At last count, he says, Resonance includes 105 different products and applications designed and driven by the needs of its clients. “We’re proud that our payment solutions have delivered financial inclusion through social grants, agency banking and distribution of subsidized medication. Our payment infrastructure has even been used for mass Covid testing,” he says.
Resonance has succeeded in building a global infrastructure of interoperable credit card machines throughout many different countries. “The technology is device agnostic supporting existing legacy payment infrastructures, and I’m excited to make it available to the UAE and Gulf markets.”
The second fin-tech company that bears the Neishlos vision is CashD, a company that supports full-time, part-time, flexible workers, casuals and contractors in accessing their earned money in real-time, in advance of their regular pay cycle, inspired by the Biblical tradition for employers to pay their workers at the end of every workday.
“We took the Biblical commandment,” says Neishlos, “and blended it with modern technology to address the debt risk and credit hole challenges faced by consumers worldwide. Neishlos Capital has demonstrated that we can be very profitable while maintaining a socially responsible conscience.”
Neishlos’ mix of business with concern for social welfare stems largely from the experiences of his grandmother, who grew up in Belarus during the Holocaust, and was saved by the Chodosevitch family, a Christian family who hid her from the Nazis. Inspired by his late grandmother’s life and the dedication of the righteous Chodosevitch family, Neishlos established the Neishlos Foundation, the philanthropic wing of Neishlos Capital.
“I want to inspire generations that are righteous,” says Neishlos passionately. “It is important to connect to Muslims and Arabs and the Righteous Among the Nations of the Islamic world who are often forgotten – those unique individuals who risked their lives to save Jews during the Holocaust.
As a Jew, I feel welcome and secure here in the Emirates, and I want to donate and invest my time and money to promote tolerance, peace and coexistence. The best place to do this is in the United Arab Emirates, which has embraced values of multiculturalism and tolerance and opened its doors to these types of initiatives.”
One Neishlos company that has recently relocated to Dubai is the AHNA Group, a young company that provides executive protection to Fortune 50 companies and ultra-high-net-worth individuals and families. “I relocated to Dubai to enjoy the phenomenal commercial climate, and AHNA Group has relocated its holding company here to Dubai. Neishlos says he will soon be opening other branches of his companies in Dubai.
Another exciting company headed by Neishlos, ’18 Reflections,’ produces authentic, transformative and meaningful content for international television, cinematic screens and theatres. The company is working with members of the Rabin family and has co-secured the biopic rights for a limited television series on the life of the late Israeli Prime Minister Itzhak Rabin.
It also participated in a theatrical musical on the life of Nelson Mandela at London’s Young Vic Theatre and has recently embarked on the production of a documentary about the Righteous Among the Nations, the individuals who risked their lives to save Jews from the Nazis during the Holocaust. The documentary will feature interviews with these individuals who are today living in countries around the world. Neishlos adds, “There are also Righteous Among the Nations in the Muslim world, and I want to ensure that they are included in this documentary.”
Neishlos is delighted with his move to Dubai, both in terms of the business climate of the Emirates and the proximity to Israel. “Both countries have small populations and have a lot to give. The nexus and accessibility between both countries is strategic,” he reports.
Making the move to Dubai has been almost effortless and extremely positive, says Neishlos. “I cannot think of a more seamless and easy immigration,” he says. The greatest strength of the UAE, he concludes, is its people. “The Emirates enjoys the two hundred different cultures that coexist in a respectful climate under the inclusive leadership of the country. I experience this in my daily interactions with locals here – their hospitality, their safety and their engagement. I feel very welcome and at home.”