UAE Now Offering Tourist Visas For Israelis

The National

The United Arab Emirates launched tourist visas for Israeli citizens on Thursday, official UAE media said, the most recent move after the normalization of ties between the two countries.

Abu Dhabi’s foreign ministry announced the activation of tourist entry visas through airlines, and travel and tourism offices for Israeli passport holders, the WAM news agency reported.

The measure is only temporary until a mutual visa waiver agreement is put in place. Meaning, Israelis visiting the UAE will be eligible for visas on arrival. The same will apply to Emiratis visiting the Jewish state.

“The move falls within bilateral cooperation between the UAE and the State of Israel following the signing of the Abraham Accords and aims to facilitate travel to the UAE for the time being,” Abu Dhabi’s foreign ministry said.

This comes after Reuters has confirmed that the United Arab Emirates has stopped new visas to Lebanese citizens.

Besides Lebanon, the countries newly banned include Syria, Iran, Iraq, Turkey, Tunisia, Algeria, Kenya, Pakistan, Afghanistan, Libya, Yemen, and Somalia.

Following a year of hard financial hits, the UAE and Israel are hoping for speedy dividends from the US-brokered normalization deal signed in September.

The UAE was only the third Arab country to normalize ties with Israel, following Egypt in 1979 and Jordan in 1994.

However, UAE’S move was quickly followed by Bahrain and Sudan who also announced they would normalize relations with Israel.

Breaking years of Arab League policy on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, the agreements have been unanimously condemned by Palestinians all around the world.

The consensus that is not applied anymore had been that there should be no relations with Israel until it makes peace with the Palestinians.