50,000 Israelis have already been to Dubai as economic ties grow rapidly

The large numbers of Israelis who have been flying to Dubai over the last month now total at least 50,000 travelers, according to reports. The overall numbers may be even greater by the time you receive this newsletter with around ten flights a day from Tel Aviv. As new Covid-19 restrictions come into force that massive outpouring of tourism and business interest in the UAE will be reduced through the new year. Nevertheless the brief period has illustrated the strong connections already being formed between Israel and the Gulf. It comes as Israel’s first flight to Morocco landed amid a new normalization agreement.


See below for some of the latest news over the last week.

One of the major developers today in Dubai is PNC Menon’s Sobha which is building Hartland, a massive residential area that will house 25,000 people. In an interview Menon, who is of Indian origin, spoke about his optimism for the new peace with Israel and possible Israeli investment in new homes in the UAE.

This week Jerusalem Deputy Mayor Fleur Hassan-Nahoum went to Bahrain to talk tourism and forge ties. Bahrain was been a pathbreaker in terms of peace and coexistence. Flights are scheduled for January, at which time there will be growing relations with Israel. Manama has one of the first kosher hotels in the Gulf: The Ritz-Carlton. Here is a look at how the hotel decided to offer kosher cuisine.

After the GITEX conference attracted an unprecedented 150 Israeli companies and organizations, the Organic and Natural Products Expo also had its first Israeli exhibitors. Check out Eco Friend’s sales manager talking about the huge interest in the UAE for organic products. A new memorandum focusing on wastewater and water innovation is also being announced this week (stay tuned for our next newsletter covering this).

The Peres Center for Peace and Innovation sent a delegation to the Emirates and is exploring a wide variety of innovation initiatives that will benefit the region.

There was an hockey game between Israel and UAE teams this week as well.

In a momentous visit Israel’s Sephardi Chief Rabbi Yosef visited the UAE and held an event at the Mini Miracles nursery. This is an initiative of Alec Sellem, read more about Alec Sellem and his work here.

At the same time a group from the UAE and Bahrain continued to tour Israel creating people-to-people exchanges that are connecting youth on social media in both countries.

There are a number of new tourism initiatives coming out of the Israel-Gulf relationship. Rabbi Marc Schneier was in Bahrain to discuss a first in North American tourism opportunities there with Best of Bahrain and Da’at Travel. Matt Churchill has written two new piece for the Israel Gulf Report about tourism and travel in Israel, check out his trips to the Jericho region and the Dead Sea.

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