- The announcement follows an exceptional bilateral collaboration marked on 01 October 2022, declaring a visa-free route for all UAE nationals visiting Israel.
- The partnership is part of a wider strategy developed by the Israeli Ministry of Tourism to attract the UAE as a new market.
For the first time around, Israel is now open to all travellers residing in the United Arab Emirates (UAE). As of 01 March 2022, vaccinated and unvaccinated tourists of all ages are permitted to enter Israel upon presenting a negative PCR test before departure and after arriving in Israel. The Israel Ministry of Tourism made the official announcement at the Expo 2020 Israeli Pavilion on 15 March 2022. The announcement follows a recent agreement between the UAE and Israel extending visa-free entry to all UAE nationals as part of the ongoing strategic partnership between both countries.
Following the announcement, the Israel Ministry of Tourism hosted a B2B workshop for travel partners in the UAE. Dignitaries from the Ministry shared an informative destination presentation showcasing exceptional prospects for post-covid tourism. The workshop attracted over 65 agents from the travel industry, followed by a pavilion tour to the travel trade partners and media. The event concluded with a networking gala serving Israeli delicacies and music that welcomed top travel stakeholders in the market.
Israel’s tourism offering: Israel is a global destination attracting over 4.5 million tourists in 2019 alone. The country provides the perfect conditions to accommodate all UAE visitors, including halal food restaurants. The local Israeli Kosher food is halal-friendly and is liked by many tourists. Additionally, the country offers diverse family-oriented hotels and heritage sites which can be explored with the help of Arabic tour guides.
Speaking at the event, Ksenia Kobiakov, New Markets Development Department Director, Israel Ministry of Tourism, said, “There is a tremendous potential in the UAE to drive incoming tourists to Israel. I hope travellers from the UAE will appreciate Israel’s unique offerings, and I believe they will want to visit more than once. We look forward to welcoming UAE tourists to witness the wonders of our country. This year, our focus would be to introduce the hidden gem to the travellers from this market. We are looking to promote the country as a destination targeting families, FIT experiential travellers, religious, MICE (Meetings, Incentives, Conferences and Exhibitions) and leisure travellers through various B2B and B2C activities like media and trade familiarization trips, roadshows, cooperation with travel trade and airlines.”
Israel is a country of contrasts, bridging the ancient and historical with an intricate blend of modern and contemporary architecture. In this small country lies a rich landscape encompassing nine climate zones, which all together set the ground for vivid surroundings, representing a perfect holiday destination.
Connectivity between both destinations: The new travel corridor between Israel and the UAE will strengthen bilateral ties whilst building more efficient services to ease travel between both countries. Flydubai operates 14 flights a week, twice a day, between Dubai and Tel Aviv-Yafo. Etihad Airways and Wizz Air offer direct flights from Abu Dhabi to Tel Aviv-Yafo. In addition, travellers can also opt for Israeli airlines like El-AL, Israir, Arkia Airlines for direct connectivity between both destinations. Furthermore, Emirates Airlines is expected to operate UAE – Israel route in the near future.
Promoting Tourism: Israel’s Ministry of Tourism, as part of its wider promotional activities in this region, is all set to launch a one-of-a-kind adventure TV production for Amazon Prime and the global inflight entertainment sector entitled “Guy in the Sky”. In collaboration with the UAE, the new TV show will promote the culture, people, and unique adventures to experience in Israel. Furthermore, the Mistry is organizing a B2C promotion at the Israel Pavilion starting this week until 31 March, where participants can win goodies. Two lucky winners will get a chance to win free tickets to Israel. Additionally, Israel has signed a partnership with VFS Global as their tourism representation agency in the UAE.
Concluding the event, Zippi Brand, Deputy Mayor of Tel Aviv- Yafo, said, “We are excited to be welcoming tourists from the members of the Abraham Accords. The opening of the sky is bringing Israel back to the forefront of tourism as an attractive destination, and there is no doubt that Tel Aviv can offer travellers a genuine Israeli experience enriched by culture, nightlife, and sports. We are doing everything we can to offer a high-class experience fitting to all expectations.”