Israel and UAE to Launch Mutual Tourist Visa Waiver Program Next Month

Beginning on February 12, Israeli tourists will no longer need to pay $95 to visit the UAE, after the Emirates ratified the agreement

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Women sunbathe on the beach in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, July 24, 2020.
Women sunbathe on the beach in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, July 24, 2020.Credit: KARIM SAHIB / AFP

A mutual exemption from tourist visas between Israel and the United Arab Emirates will go into effect in 30 days, Israel's Foreign Ministry said Wednesday, after the UAE Foreign Ministry ratified the agreement between the two countries.

The Israeli government already ratified the agreement a few months ago. Since the two countries signed an agreement to normalize ties, tens of thousands of Israeli tourists have visited the UAE, but in the absence of a waiver agreement, they had to pay $95 for a visa. Beginning on February 12, that will no longer be needed.

“Ratifying the agreement is an important building block in the full and rapid realization of the many agreements now underway with the UAE, Bahrain and Morocco," Foreign Minister Gabi Ashkenazi said. "I would like to thank the Foreign Ministry staff working to quickly advance ties with these countries.”

Israel and the UAE signed a normalization agreement in Washington D.C. in September. The agreement includes declarations of future cooperation on matters of trade, energy, aviation, tourism, health, technology, agriculture and communications, as well as a pledge to work together to find a long-term solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

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