? BLOG UPDATE | Jan 28, 2020
Israel has just opened its embassy in Abu Dhabi, and an Emirati mission in Tel Aviv will be a reality soon.
After the announcement of a normalization agreement between Israel and the United Arab Emirates in August 2020, the two countries have worked hard and quickly to establish formal ties between them.
In October 2020, the first commercial flight from Abu Dhabi to Tel Aviv took off, while the first Israeli tourists landed in Dubai a month later.
In recent weeks, speculations about embassies have been spiraling, and on January 24th, 2021, Israel officially opened its embassy in the United Arab Emirates, as its envoy, Eitan Na’eh, landed in the capital, Abu Dhabi.
While the Jewish state still has not found a permanent location for the embassy, Eitan Na’eh will work from a temporary office that will be in full function by the end of the month.
Eitan Na’eh is the former Israeli ambassador to Turkey, and he will manage the new Israeli embassy in the United Arab Emirates until a permanent location has been found and a permanent ambassador will be appointed.
“The embassy will work to advance Israel’s interests and will be at the disposal of its citizens,” the Israeli Foreign Ministry said in a statement earlier this month.
“Normalization will benefit regional stability”
On the same day as the Israeli ambassador landed in Abu Dhabi, the United Arab Emirates cabinet announced that the country will open an embassy in Tel Aviv, Israel.
The opening of the embassies has been praised by Israel’s foreign minister, Gabi Ashkenazi.
“This is an important decision that will advance the warm ties between countries and between nations. We look forward to welcoming the UAE representatives soon,” he said.
The European Union’s ambassador to Israel took to Twitter to congratulate Israel and the United Arab Emirates.
“Congratulations, Eitan Na’eh, at the newly opened Israeli embassy in the United Arab Emirates. Normalization will benefit regional stability,” he wrote.
Israel has already opened a mission in Manama, Bahrain with whom the Jewish nation has also normalized ties.
According to the Israeli Foreign Ministry, the country will open a consulate in the United Arab Emirates’ most populous city, Dubai, and a liaison office in the Moroccan capital, Rabat, within a short period of time.
Visa waiver agreement pushed off
To further strengthen the ties between Israel and the United Arab Emirates, the countries have entered into a visa waiver agreement that will exempt Israeli and Emirati tourists from obtaining visas when visiting each other’s countries.
However, the agreement has not taken effect yet because of the coronavirus travel restrictions.
Both countries had already ratified the agreement, but when Israel imposed a mandatory two-week quarantine at state-run hotels for travelers returning from the United Arab Emirates, Abu Dhabi pushed the agreement off until July 2021.
In the coming months, Israeli tourists who want to visit Dubai or Abu Dhabi can use the tourist visas that the United Arab Emirates introduced in December 2020.