The First Airplane With Israeli Tourists Landed in Dubai

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(— November 9, 2020) — 

Until recently, non-Jewish tourists from around the world that wanted to visit Dubai or Abu Dhabi couldn’t obtain a visa if their passport had the Israeli stamp, meaning if they ever visited Israel they were forbidden to travel to UAE.

Thanks to the historical agreement, UAE now welcomes Israeli tourists.

The first plane carrying tourists from Israel landed in Dubai, which is the latest confirmation of the historical agreement on the normalization of relations, reached between the two countries, the USA Today reports.

The low-budget airline FlyDubai sent one of its Boeing 737s to Ben Gurion International Airport near Tel Aviv this morning to receive passengers, and they arrived in the UAE in about three hours.

The plane flew through the airspace of Saudi Arabia and then over the Persian Gulf.

Tourists from Israel arrived at a time when Dubai is trying to revive tourism in the midst of a coronavirus pandemic.

The UAE and Israel have agreed to launch regular commercial flights between the two countries soon, and recently exchanged business and government delegations.

FlyDubai plans to start flying to Tel Aviv later this month, and the company said that today’s flight was a charter, without going into details.

“There is no doubt that the normalization between Israel and the UAE will bring good things and benefit to the Arabs inside Israel. There is no doubt about that,” Hussein Suleiman, head of an Arab business delegation and a participant on the flight, told the AP.

Israel and the UAE have maintained tense and secretive relations for years, and they recently disclosed them and signed an agreement on normalization in the White House on September 15.

On the same day, Bahrain also signed such an agreement with Israel.

The Emirates and Bahrain thus became the third and fourth countries, after Egypt and Jordan, to conclude a peace agreement with Israel.

The emirates said they expect relations with Israel to be close and hope the agreement will contribute to efforts by the country to buy F-35 fighter jets from the United States.

The agreements also unite three countries concerned about Iran’s moves in the region.

These documents, however, do not address the decades-long conflict between Israel and the Palestinians, who see them like a knife in the back and a betrayal of their Arab brothers.