UAE mulls opening up to Israeli tourists

Dubai

The United Arab Emirates is seriously considering letting Israelis visit the country after Expo 2020 in Dubai next October, Yediot Ahronot reports.

The United Arab Emirates is seriously considering allowing Israeli passport holders to visit the country after Expo 2020 in Dubai next October, Yediot Ahronot reports.

A senior UAE official involved in organizing Expo 2020 attending a London fair to promote the event told "Yediot Ahronot," "Expo could be a pilot during which Israelis tourists will be allowed to enter the country. But even after the exhibition closes, the UAE authorities will leave the gates of the country open to Israeli tourists."

Mohamed Khater, Assistant Director Tourism Development of theTourism Development Authority of Ras Al Khaimah, an Emirate neighboring Dubai, told "Yediot Ahronot," "Welcome. Israelis can visit Expo and I believe that God willing, they will come to visit even after the exhibition. Several hundreds of Israelis already visit and we will be happy to host all of you."

Israel and the UAE do not have full diplomatic relations but in 2015 Israel opened an official diplomatic mission to the International Renewable Energy Agency in Abu Dhabi. Israelis are allowed into the UAE if they hold another passport or receive a visa to attend a special event. The two countries have drawn closer in recent years due to mutual hostility to Iran.

The theme of Expo 2020 in Dubai will be "Connecting Minds - Creating the Future." The international exhibition will open next year on October 20 and last for 173 days. Israel will present its innovative technological developments although it has yet to be announced which companies will participate.

A US source close to the UAE authorities also confirmed to "Yediot Ahronot" that the country is set to open up to Israeli passport holders. The source said that the UAE was not only interested in Israeli tourists but also entrepreneurs and businesspeople.

Published by Globes, Israel business news - en.globes.co.il - on November 6, 2019

© Copyright of Globes Publisher Itonut (1983) Ltd. 2019

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