Breaking Travel News

Over 150,000 Israeli tourists visit UAE in 10 months

Over 150,000 Israeli tourists visit UAE in 10 months

More than 150,000 Israeli tourists visited the UAE in the last 10 months of 2022, and this year also looks promising in terms of tourism growth between the UAE and Israel as the two countries hope to increase flight frequency.
The two Middle Eastern countries opened their borders after the signing of the Abraham Accord in September 2020, resulting in people-to-people contact flourishing between the two nations.

Starting March 1, 2022, Israel allowed all Covid-19 vaccinated foreigners to visit the country.

Pini Shani, senior vice president, the Israel Ministry of Tourism, said around 1,600 Emirati nationals arrived in Israel from UAE in the last ten months of 2022.
“Starting in March 2022, we lifted the travel restrictions, and more than 150,000 Israelis travelled to UAE during this period. Israeli tourists are great spenders as they love to spend money while travelling and exploring. UAE nationals and expats are spending $180 (Dh 661) per day, excluding flights. Business travellers spend even more but stay less days in Israel,” Shani told Khaleej Times in an interview after his recent visit to the UAE.

During a visit to the UAE last month, the Israel Ministry of Tourism’s SVP met travel and tourism industry executives and explored business opportunities by offering tour operators the opportunity to collaborate with Israel in an incentive or joint marketing agreement.

Israel Ministry of Tourism provides a 20 euros (Dh78) reward to a travel agency for each tourist arriving in Israel for at least four nights.


Shani added that Israel can provide perfect conditions for the UAE and GCC visitors, including Halal food restaurants, Arabic-speaking tour guides, Islamic tourism sites and family-oriented hotels and places.

Tourism in 2023

Pini Shani is confident that 2023 will be an excellent year for tourism after recovering from the pandemic.

“During 2022, we’ve already bounced back with exceptional tourist entries from our primary source countries, USA, Germany, France, and Italy. The Abraham Accord is a fantastic opportunity for the UAE and Israel to build lasting relationships and historic cultural bonds. For the Israeli audience, UAE is a new destination, which intrigues them to fly and discover in large masses.

“Nevertheless, UAE nationals and expats need more time to explore what Israel can offer them as a tourism destination. Therefore, the number of visitors from Israel will stay more or less the same. In addition, the number of visitors from the UAE will increase dramatically in the upcoming years,” he added.

Currently, there is good connectivity between the UAE and Israel, with 70 weekly flights operated by Emirates, FlyDubai, Etihad, EL-Al, and Israir.

“We hope to increase flight frequency to boost tourism from the UAE and worldwide, especially from Southeast Asia, Oceania, and more,” added Shani.

Visa challenge
While highlighting challenges that hamper the tourism sector, Shani pointed out that there are two main obstacles to boosting tourism – Israeli visa and the need for more knowledge and awareness about Israel.

“The Israeli visa process is necessary for visitors who are not UAE citizens but residents (India, Pakistan, Bangladesh). Issuing a visa takes time (around two weeks); unfortunately, it is a consideration for potential visitors when choosing their next destination for travel. We plan to give seminars and perform roadshows for the local travel industry with the cooperation of the Israeli travel trade to increase awareness of Israel as a tourist destination,” he said.

In order to improve bilateral tourism, he said they’re focusing on training the UAE’s tourism industry and highlighting what Israel offers to potential tourists. “We want to display hospitality, co-existence, diverse communities, nature, local foods, culture, heritage, and history. In addition, we aim to build good relations with travel agencies, airplane companies, and the media,” he added.