The normalization agreement between Israel and Bahrain opens up interesting possibilities for Israeli tourists. The Bahrain airline is Gulf Air, a government owned carrier of a similar size to El Al Israel Airlines Ltd. (TASE: ELAL) and far smaller than its nearby rivals from the UAE Etihad Airways (Abu Dhabi) and Emirates (Dubai). Gulf Air flies to 50 destinations in 30 countries.
The flight time between Tel Aviv and Bahrain is a little under two and a half hours, flying directly over Saudi airspace, a right for Israeli air traffic which will be enshrined in the agreement signed in Washington on Tuesday.
Issta Holdings CEO Ronen Carasso said that Bahrain welcomes 13 million tourists annually. "Huge potential has been opened up for Israeli customers. Bahrain is a special country in the Persian Gulf and the smallest country there with 30 islands covering just 700 square kilometers. The small kingdom has 30 kilometers of beaches, east of Saudi Arabia, and only 1.7 million citizens. The Muslim country is full of contrasts and surprises. There are skyscrapers alongside ancient cities and historic sites, barren but interesting deserts, freshwater and fertile land. The status of women is the best in the Persian Gulf."
Carasso adds, "The capital of Bahrain is Manama, a modern city with a landscape of skyscrapers. The old part of the city Bilad Al-Kadim was built 900 years ago. Bahrain Port was declared a UNESCO heritage site in 2005."
Carasso says Bahrain is filled with sites dating back thousands of years to 3,000 BCE. "Bahrain has the potential to become a hit with Israeli vacationers. Hotel prices are not high and are lower than those in Dubai and we will be able to offer packages to the Israeli public similar to those in Kiev, Budapest or Prague at prices of $500 including the return flight and three nights bed and breakfast in a five star hotel in the Sofital chain." Three nights in a Four Seasons hotel, one of the best chains in the world, will cost about $900.
en.globes.co.il - on September 13, 2020 © Copyright of Globes Publisher Itonut (1983) Ltd. 2020