Israel’s focus on leisure, M!CE

Israel’s Tourism Minister HE Orit Farkash-Hacohen addressed the audience at the first virtual UAE-Israel Tourism Forum hosted by the officials from Israel’s Ministry of Tourism recently. She stated that Israel is preparing to welcome tourists from the UAE and will be adhering to the advice of health experts to ensure it remains a safe destination in terms of COVID-19 exposure.

The key aim of the forum was to build the foundation for a long-term tourism relationship between Israel and the UAE. The online event highlighted Israel’s position as an important historical and cultural destination. It focused on the two urban gems of Israel – Tel Aviv and Jerusalem, featured its sandy beaches, a sprawling metropolis and breathtaking natural beauty. Jerusalem’s unique sites, holy to Christianity, Judaism and Islam, are also on the list of the country’s must-see locations. With great weather virtually all year round, tourists can enjoy the great outdoors, take in colourful markets, cutting-edge culture and entertainment and an exciting culinary scene. The forum witnessed an attendance of over 300 trade partners from the UAE and 100 partners from Israel.

Her Excellency Orit Farkash-Hacohen, Israel’s Tourism Minister said, “Tourism is key to building a lasting peace between countries, and Israel looks forward to welcoming travellers from the UAE. I am certain visitors from the emirates and other countries will enjoy the unique blend of this new, and near, destination. Israel is where thousands of years of history meet modern day life. It is the home of Tel Aviv and the StartUp Nation and of ancient Caesarea and the magnificent Dead Sea. Israel’s unique religious sites are holy to Jews, Christians and Muslims, with Jerusalem at their centre. Alongside the sites, visitors will enjoy the people, culture, art, music and culinary delights.”

Visitors can also benefit from the healing powers of the Dead Sea, a shortlist candidate for the world’s 7 natural wonders and the lowest place on the planet (434 metres approx below sea level). The Dead Sea area features several attractions including natural healing spas, hiking trails and restaurants. The North of Israel also has hidden treasures of natural beauty from Haifa to the Sea of Galilee, in a region filled with historical significance. Israel’s Ministry of Tourism, as part of its wider promotional activities in this region, is all set to participate at the Arabian Travel Mart and Expo Dubai in 2021. The strategy is to focus Israel as a leisure and a M!CE destination through various B2B and B2C activities. The UAE and Israel signed a mutual visa waiver agreement following the normalisation of ties between the two countries, enabling travellers to obtain visas on arrival.

flydubai has already started operating 14 flights a week offering a double daily service between Dubai International and Tel Aviv Ben Gurion airports. Airlines like Emirates and Etihad have also announced direct flights to Israel in 2021. Israel and UAE have signed an aviation agreement which will allow up to 112 weekly flights between the two countries.

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