Farkash-Hacohen: UAE candle light Hanukkah ‘puts up walls’

Tourism Minister Orit Farkash-Hacohen addressed the first Israeli-Dubai Tourism Forum on Wednesday and said that about 50,000 Israelis currently in the UAE are “lighting Hanukkah candles cheaply” and by to do so, “roofing walls” between the two countries.
“As soon as the world starts waking up after COVID-19 is over, with God’s help, we expect 100,000 tourists to receive Emirates every year,” she said.
There are currently 25 weekly flights between Israel and the UAE, “and the more the more valuable,” she joked. She said she asked her UAE companion if Israelis are “behaving well” in his country and assured her that they were.
Hundreds of UAE and Israeli travel agencies, hotel managers and travel writers are involved in the digital event to learn about the attractions of the Holy Land and to resolve practical issues regarding visas and flights.
The ministry is currently working on an improved Arab online version, and the Israeli booth is set to open in May at an Arab Travel Market event in Dubai. The ministry is also training tour guides with Arabs in the hope that Israel could become “a home away from home for all Emirates,” the minister said.

Interesting films were shown to the audience with an Arabic soundtrack featuring Jerusalem, Tel Aviv, Acre, Eilat and the Dead Sea to a global audience. The multicultural aspects of the country have been emphasized as it is a spiritual home for five faiths: Judaism, Christianity, Islam, Druze and Bahai. Arabic was presented as an official language second only to Hebrew.

While Jerusalem – the city 80% of tourists visit while staying – received a lot of attention, other cities were also featured.
The film about Acre included an original scene with a stripper playing the lute. Tel Aviv was showcased as a city with 1,748 bars, clubs and coffee shops – a figure reached before the novel coronavirus caused a decline in the service industry. Eilat has been described as a unique place for one to swim with dolphins. UAE tourism professionals praised the films and requested that copies be sent to the region for prospective delegates.

Ministry official Ksenia Kobyakov said Eilat dolphins are also tourists, having reached Israel from the Black Sea. Originally trained by the Russian Army, the original pod was brought to Eilat in the 1990s – the conventional dolphins are their descendants.
As a start-up country, Israel hopes to benefit from the new movement of MICE – Meetings, Incentives, Conferences and Exhibitions – once flights reopen at a larger scale. This tourism model is ideal for promoting Israeli science, technology and culture events once COVID-19 vaccines are widely distributed.
One concept debated how Australian tourists could visit both the UAE and Israel in larger numbers as the Abraham Accords offer better flights to Oceania to visit both countries.
The topic mentioned was how Israel is a different country, a modern state with a long history; a religious society that also has a secular stroke.
Farkash-Hacohen raised questions at a later session and was asked to touch on many different topics, from the Halal food options available to visa issues and ending with the personal safety of women traveling there. and Israel.
The minister said Israel was as safe as any EU country but said “speaking like one woman to the other” she suggested single female tourists not walk around at 3am to a club without at least one other female friend present.
She pointed out how kosher food habits and Islamic diet practices are similar, which is why passionate Muslims are able to eat kosher food if halal food is not available, but she also said that halal food is easy to get. in Arab communities across the country.
With so many UAE expats living within it, the visa issue is divided into two parts. UAE citizens will not need a visa to enter Israel starting from January. The tourist route of a non-UAE citizen residing in that country, such as an Indian or Filipino national, will be based on the country of origin and Israel agreement.

Indian citizens need a visa but Filipinos do not, unless they have a family member working in Israel.

The Israeli consulate in the UAE is expected to open soon. One of his tasks is to issue visas to make travel easier. One question, about Pakistani citizens living in the UAE, was left unanswered.