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Israel prepares for wave of Muslim tourists

With the signing of the Abraham Accords and the opening of Emirati, Bahraini and Moroccan diplomatic missions, Israel is now preparing for an unprecedented wave of Muslim tourists.
A picture taken from the Mount of Olives on Jan. 20, 2018, shows a Muslim tourist viewing Jerusalem's Old City and the Dome of the Rock.
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There are about a billion and a half Muslims in the world, yet only several thousand of them visit the holy sites in Jerusalem each year. The Abraham Accords signed in 2020 between Israel, the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain, Morocco and Sudan constitute a tremendous opportunity to change that picture.

By contrast, the reverse direction is much more active: Tens of thousands of Israelis (almost 70,000 in December alone, before the COVID-19 lockdown reached Dubai) are already visiting tourist sites in the countries that signed these normalization agreements. Direct flights with Etihad Airways are expected to open in the very near future from Dubai to Tel Aviv — this was announced last November, but it was delayed due to COVID-19 closures.

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