JNS.org – The United Arab Emirates will open its doors to Israelis for the 2020 World Expo in Dubai and may allow visits to continue even after it’s over.
Israeli and the UAE’s authorities have “been in talks for a while” about Israelis visiting Dubai for the expo, a source within the Expo’s management team told Yediot Achronot.
Another insider said the Expo could be a pilot run for Israeli tourists being allowed into the country and if turns out successful, the UAE “might leave its doors open to Israeli tourists permanently.”
“I believe Israelis will come to visit even after the Expo,” said a senior official in the UAE’s Ministry of Tourism. “Even now, we have a few Israelis visiting us, and we will be happy to accommodate all Israeli tourists.”
The Expo will have a pavilion for Israel to present its latest achievements in innovation and sustainability. Though Israel does not have official diplomatic relations with the UAE, there have been efforts to improve their relations.
In 2015, Israel opened a representation office in the UAE’s capital, Abu Dhabi, and last year, the UAE officially recognized its small Jewish community as part of Dubai’s population. A private synagogue also operates in Dubai.
An American source affiliated with UAE authorities said the Gulf nation wants Israeli tourists but also innovators, and are therefore expected to make the process of entering the UAE much easier to those with Israeli passports.