In Brief: One million Israelis have visited the UAE since the Abraham Accords

Israeli and Emirati students celebrate Hannukah > Sharaka, via Times of Israel

One million Israelis have visited the United Arab Emirates since the signing of the 2020 Abraham Accords.

Speaking to the Jewish News, Israeli foreign ministry spokesperson Lior Haiat said: “almost one-in-ten Israelis has visited the UAE since the end of 2020”.

There are currently more than 200 weekly flights between the countries, including 88 from Israel to Dubai and 22 to Abu Dhabi.

Haiat, who is head of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs’ national public diplomacy directorate, continued that “part of the UAE’s popularity is due to the absence of antisemitism on the scale we have witnessed in other Arab states”.

“It is one of the few countries in the Middle East that had no historical Jewish presence. The locals in Dubai and Abu Dhabi don’t harbour entrenched feelings of hostility towards Jews. They don’t see Israel as their enemy”.

When asked about the prospect of Israeli-Saudi normalisation, Haiat said: “That agreement is not a question of if but when”.

“We can see changes already in words the Saudi leadership is using to its own people when it comes to Israel […] Israel is seen by the Saudis as a future partner. A peace agreement between our two states – with a third country that borders Israel – would change the entire region and inspire even more Arab and Muslim counties to follow.”