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Visa-free Travel between Israel and UAE to Start Next Week

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BM.GE
06.10.21 00:00
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Israelis and Emiratis will be able to travel to each other’s countries without a visa as of Sunday, Interior Minister Ayelet Shaked said.

Shaked announced the visa-free travel, which will begin on October 10, while on a trip to the United Arab Emirates, JPOST (The Jerusalem Post) reports. 

Israeli tourists and those traveling to the UAE for business will not need visas to enter the country. Those who plan to study, work or volunteer in the UAE, or are traveling for religious reasons, will still need a visa.

If COVID-19 infection rates continue to drop, Israel plans to allow vaccinated tourists to enter Israel at the end of October.

Israel and the UAE signed a visa-free agreement in January, but the Emiratis put it on hold soon after, due to the coronavirus pandemic. At the time, Israelis visiting the UAE would have had to quarantine for two weeks due to high infection rates in the Gulf state.

Now, Israelis who have received three doses of the COVID-19 vaccine only need to quarantine until receiving PCR test results after returning from abroad from most countries, including the UAE.

Shaked said that on her trip to the UAE, in which she visited Abu Dhabi and Dubai, she “experienced true peace” and that the government was an “extraordinarily gracious host, showing that a true partnership was formed between the countries.”

She met with Emirati Interior Minister and Deputy Prime Minister Saif bin Zayed Al Nahyan, whose responsibilities also include homeland security, on her trip.

“Abu Dhabi is one of the safest cities in the world, and we have a lot to learn from the local police,” Shaked said. “It’s a smart city, with a network of cameras, and with various applications, they managed to reduce crime and traffic accidents to a minimum.”

Shaked also said she told Al Nahyan “about the Bedouins in Israel and the various problems,” and that he gave her some ideas for solutions.

In addition, the ministers discussed interreligious dialogue and religious diversity in their countries.
 
Shaked, whose ministry includes non-Jewish religious services in Israel, suggested that Israeli imams could attend seminars and training courses in the UAE on religious moderation, tolerance and discouraging violence. The Interior Ministry employs 300 imams and muezzins in 270 mosques.
 
While in Abu Dhabi, Shaked visited the Sheikh Zayed Mosque and the Oasis of Dignity, the UAE's war memorial.
 
Shaked also plans to visit the Israel Pavilion at the Dubai Expo, which she called “an excellent platform to leverage connections and develop new economic opportunities between Israel, the UAE and the whole world.”

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