UAE May Allow Israeli Tourists to Expo 2020

YERUSHALAYIM -
israel dubai
Dubai’s Burj Khalifa, the worlds tallest building, is illuminated during festivities marking the one-year countdown to Expo 2020, on October 20, 2019. (Giuseppe Cacace/AFP via Getty Images)

Warming ties between Israel and the United Arab Emirates may take more concrete form within a year, starting with Expo 2020 in Dubai, according to a media report on Wednesday.

The UAE was described by various sources as seriously considering the move, though nothing has been finalized.

Mohamed Khater, assistant director for tourism development in Ras Al Khaimah, a UAE emirate, confirmed to Yediot Aharonot that Israelis will be allowed to visit the Expo, scheduled for October 2020.

“Expo could be a pilot during which Israelis tourists will be allowed to enter the country. But even after the exhibition closes, the UAE authorities will leave the gates of the country open to Israeli tourists,” Khater said.

“Already now hundreds of Israelis trickle into the country and we will be glad to host all of them,” he added.

Israelis can currently visit the UAE if they have a foreign passport or with Israeli travel papers after getting a special entry permit.

Israel plans to have a pavilion at the international event, which is to run for 173 days and attract some 25 million visitors. It will give Israel a new venue for showcasing its innovative technologies, although it has yet to be announced which companies will participate.

Israel’s Foreign Ministry declined to comment on the report.