Lapid Taps Tourism Exec as Israel’s First UAE Ambassador

Michael Hauser Tov
Michael Hauser Tov
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Amir Hayek, Israel's first ambassador to the United Arab Emirates.
Amir Hayek, Israel's first ambassador to the United Arab Emirates. Credit: Moti Milrod
Michael Hauser Tov
Michael Hauser Tov

Foreign Minister Yair Lapid announced Sunday that Israel Hotel Association president Amir Hayek will be the country’s first ambassador to the United Arab Emirates. 

Hayek, a former director-general of what was once the Trade, Industry and Employment Ministry, and former CEO of the Israel Manufacturers Association, is one of the 11 ambassadorial appointments Lapid is allowed to make from outside the Foreign Service. Until now, Eitan Na’eh has served as head of Israel’s mission in Abu Dhabi.

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“Amir Hayek, with rich experience and knowledge in the fields of economics and tourism, is the right person to establish the bridge between Israel and the emirates. After opening the embassy, it was time to appoint the first ambassador to the emirates,” Lapid said.

Hayek said that “It’s a great honor for me to be the first ambassador in the United Arab Emirates and to represent the State of Israel. The UAE is an entire world of joint economic opportunities; it’s an important and exciting mission, and we have a lot of work ahead of us.”

The UAE’s embassy in Tel Aviv opened a week and a half ago, in the presence of President Isaac Herzog and Ambassador Mohamed al Khaja.

Three weeks ago, Lapid inaugurated the Israeli embassy in Abu Dhabi, declaring, “Israel wants peace with its neighbors – all its neighbors. We aren’t going anywhere. The Middle East is our home. We are here to stay, and we call on all the countries of the region to recognize that and come to talk with us.”

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