Both vaccinated and unvaccinated UAE residents can now enter Israel with a negative PCR test
The announcement that all UAE residents can now travel to Israel was made by the Israeli Ministry of Tourism at the Expo 2020 Israeli Pavilion.
The announcement follows a recent agreement between the UAE and Israel extending visa-free entry to all UAE nationals as part of the ongoing strategic partnership between both countries.
In 2019, Israel welcomed more than 4.5 million tourists and the country is well-suited to accommodate all UAE visitors with widely available halal food and kosher offerings that are halal-compliant.
Emirates recently announced that it will commence flying to Tel Aviv in June, joining fellow Gulf airlines Flydubai, which operates flights twice a day between Dubai and Tel Aviv-Yafo, and Etihad Airways and Wizz Air, which both offer flights from Abu Dhabi to Tel Aviv-Yafo. In addition, UAE travellers can opt to fly on Israeli airlines including El-AL, Israir and Arkia Airlines for direct connectivity between both destinations.
Israel Ministry of Tourism New Markets Development Department director Ksenia Kobiakov, said: “There is a tremendous potential in the UAE to drive incoming tourists to Israel. I hope travellers from the UAE will appreciate Israel’s unique offerings, and I believe they will want to visit more than once. We look forward to welcoming UAE tourists to witness the wonders of our country. This year, our focus would be to introduce the hidden gem to the travellers from this market.
“We are looking to promote the country as a destination targeting families, FIT (Free Independent Travellers) looking for new experiences, religious travellers, MICE (Meetings, Incentives, Conferences and Exhibitions) travellers and leisure travellers through various B2B and B2C activities like media and trade familiarisation trips, roadshows, cooperation with travel trade and airlines.”
Tel Aviv-Yafo Deputy Mayor Zippi Brand added: “We are excited to be welcoming tourists from the members of the Abraham Accords. The opening of the sky is bringing Israel back to the forefront of tourism as an attractive destination, and there is no doubt that Tel Aviv can offer travellers a genuine Israeli experience enriched by culture, nightlife, and sports. We are doing everything we can to offer a high-class experience fitting to all expectations.”
The Abraham Accords agreement with the UAE was officially titled the ‘Abraham Accords Peace Agreement: Treaty of Peace, Diplomatic Relations and Full Normalisation Between the United Arab Emirates and the State of Israel’.
According to Kobiakov, Israel’s initial target is to attract 100,000 visitors from the UAE, however it’s acknowledged that there is still much to be done to realise these goals, starting with the country’s hospitality offering.
Kobiakov said: “There is a big interest from the UAE to build new hotels in Israel and to invest in the tourism market. We see this is coming and, to an extent, this is already happening.”