Published on : Tuesday, November 10, 2020
On Sunday, the first flight carrying Israeli tourists to the United Arab Emirates landed in the city-state of Dubai. This is the latest sign of the normalization contract between the two countries.
FlyDubai flight No. FZ8194 landed at the Dubai International Airport just after 5:40 p.m., flying tourists to the skyscraper-studded city after almost a three-hour trip. The low-cost carrier had sent one of its Boeing 737s to the Ben-Gurion International Airport in Tel Aviv earlier on Sunday morning to pick up the passengers.
The flight flew across Saudi Arabia and then over the waters of the Persian Gulf to reach the UAE, which is a federation of seven sheikhdoms also home to Abu Dhabi.
The flight had Jewish Israelis and a number of Arab Israelis on board. Many of the Jewish Israelis wore kippah head coverings.
Tourists on the flight said that it was not their first time to the UAE, but they were excited to be in Dubai. Among these tourists were a number of businessmen who were excited for opportunities in the Emirates.
Hussein Suleiman, the head of an Arab businessmen’s delegation on board the flight said, “There is no doubt that the normalisation of ties between Israel and the UAE will bring good things and benefit to the Arabs inside Israel. There is no doubt about that. We are supportive of this deal and of the normalisation, and we are here today to normalise the normalisation in reality.”
The arrival of tourists comes with Dubai reviving its vital tourism industry in the midst of the ongoing corona virus pandemic. The UAE and Israel have agreed to launch regular commercial flights between their countries soon, while other recent flights have taken care of business and governmental delegations.