Israel and the UAE signed a number of agreements today.
The countries will allow for reciprocal visa-free travel, which is pretty incredible. Israelis need to apply for a visa to travel to the US, but they can now fly to the UAE without a visa!
While Israel requires a visa for travel from Bahrain, Egypt, and Jordan, the UAE will be the first in the Middle East without a visa requirement.
The UAE requires a visa for travel from Arab allies like Egypt and Jordan as well, but they won’t require one for Israelis.
While it was previously reported that there would be just 28 weekly flights between the UAE and Israel, the actual agreement allows for:
- 28 weekly round-trip flights between Israel and Dubai from Israel based carriers.
- 28 weekly round-trip flights between Israel and Dubai from UAE based carriers.
- 28 weekly round-trip flights between Israel and Abu Dhabi from Israel based carriers.
- 28 weekly round-trip flights between Israel and Abu Dhabi from UAE based carriers.
On the Israeli side, Arkia, El Al, and Israir all want in on the action. Arkia announced plans to fly daily from Tel Aviv to Dubai starting in January.
On the UAE side, Emirates, Etihad, Fly Dubai, and Wizzair want to fly between the countries.
That is an incredible amount of added capacity in the market!
If there is sufficient demand, the agreement also allows for additional flights starting in August 2021.
On my previous trip to Dubai, the only other Jewish person I bumped into was Chabad Rabbi Levi Duchman and we brought our own food. With 112 weekly round-trip flights, a kosher restaurant, and a kosher catering kitchen in the Dubai airport, It looks like things will be very different when I return!