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UAE postpones visa-free travel agreement with Israel until July 1

UAE postpones visa-free travel agreement with Israel until July 1

Airlines from both countries have begun scheduled direct commercial passenger flights over the last few weeks

UAE Israel

The UAE has temporarily suspended the visa-free travel arrangement with Israel until July 1, as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic.

Consequently, Israelis will need to obtain a visa to travel to the UAE, and Emiratis too will likewise need a visa to travel to Israel.

Read: UAE, Israel agree on bilateral visa-free travel

A report by the Times of Israel stated that Israel now requires all of its citizens returning to from the UAE, Brazil, South Africa and Zambia to quarantine at government-run hotels, while those arriving from other countries can quarantine at home, but must be tested upon arrival as well as nine days later.

In October 2020, Israel and UAE announced plans to introduce reciprocal visa-free travel agreement for their nationals.

The UAE Cabinet, on November 1, ratified the agreement between the UAE and Israel regarding the mutual exemption from entry visa requirements.

However, while the agreement was yet to come into effect, in December the UAE Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation announced the activation of tourist entry visas through airlines and travel and tourism offices for Israeli passport holders until procedures for the constitutional ratification of the mutual visa waiver agreement between the two states were completed. This visa-free agreement will now likely only come into effect on July 1.

Read: UAE activates tourist entry visas for Israeli passport holders

Airlines from both countries have begun scheduled direct commercial passenger flights over the last few weeks.

Israir’s inaugural flight from Tel Aviv landed in Dubai on December 2, making it the first Israeli airline to operate a commercial flight into Dubai. It said that it would operate up to 14 weekly flights using its Airbus A320 aircraft between the two destinations.

The first scheduled commercial flight operated by Dubai-based carrier flew from Dubai and landed in Tel Aviv in November. It too operates 14 flights a week, offering a double daily service between DXB and TLV.

Read: Flydubai’s inaugural flight to Israel lands in Tel Aviv

Abu Dhabi-based Etihad meanwhile has said that it would begin flights to Tel Aviv from March 28, 2021.

Read: Abu Dhabi’s Etihad and El Al Israel sign MoU to cooperate on codeshare and loyalty programme

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