Israel, UAE agree Emiratis can stay without visas for 90 days

Diplomats from the two Middle East countries also struck agreements on investment and aviation.

al-monitor An Etihad Airways plane carrying a delegation from the United Arab Emirates on a first official visit lands at Israel's Ben Gurion Airport near Tel Aviv, Oct. 20, 2020.  Photo by JACK GUEZ/AFP via Getty Images.

Oct 22, 2020

Under the latest agreement deepening relations between Israel and the United Arab Emirates, Emirati citizens will now be able to stay in Israel for up to 90 days without obtaining a visa, the UAE’s state news agency WAM reported today. 

"The entry into force of the memorandum will allow UAE passport holders to enter ... Israel without a visa," said Emirati diplomat Omar Ghobash, according to the Abu Dhabi-based news outlet The National.

During historic meetings in Tel Aviv this week, diplomats from Israel and the UAE signed a number of bilateral agreements, including a pact to make the UAE the first Arab state to strike a visa waiver agreement with Israel.

The talks, held at Israel’s Ben Gurion Airport on Tuesday, marked the first official visit by an Emirati delegation since the two countries signed a historic agreement last month to establish full diplomatic ties. In exchange for Israel holding off on its planned annexation of portions of the West Bank, the UAE and Bahrain became the first Arab states in decades to recognize Israel. 

Egypt and Jordan established full diplomatic relations with the Jewish state in 1979 and 1994, respectively, but their nationals are still required to apply for entry permits before traveling to Israel.

Three other agreements were signed Tuesday, with Israel and the UAE agreeing to cooperate on aviation, financing and investments. The UAE, Israel and the United States also announced the creation of a $3 billion trilateral fund to promote regional economic cooperation.

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