Narrow bridges

Expo 2020 Dubai: Tourists to form ‘human bridges’ between UAE and Israel

Yoel Razvozov, Israeli Minister of Tourism, to officially inaugurate the Israel pavilion at Expo 2020 Dubai on Thursday
Image Credit: Provided

Dubai: Tourism to the UAE and Israel will experience a boom with thousands of visitors expected to travel between the two countries in the coming months. This was shared by Yoel Razvozov, Israeli Minister of Tourism, who arrived in Dubai on Monday to officially inaugurate the Israel pavilion at Expo 2020 Dubai, which will take place on Thursday.

Razvozov’s arrival marks the first visit of an Israeli Minister of Tourism to the United Arab Emirates. In addition to visiting the Expo, Razvozov is expected to meet with key leaders of the UAE tourism and aviation industry.

In an exclusive interview with Gulf News, the Israeli minister said: “The mere fact that there is an Israeli flag in the United Arab Emirates will make our case stand out. Our pavilion will certainly attract a lot of people from different countries. I am sure that after their first visit, many will want to visit Israel.

Impressed by the United Arab Emirates

Razvozov continued, “As for the Israelis, since the signing of the Abrahamic Accords, thousands of people have visited the UAE. Their interest in the country is real and they come back in awe of what they have seen. We live in the same geographic area – the flight only takes a few hours – so I’m sure we’ll see more tourists. “

Razvozov, however, did not give exact figures on the number of Israeli tourists who are expected to visit the United Arab Emirates during the Expo. “It’s pretty hard to predict the numbers. But I believe there will be hundreds of businessmen who will come to explore business opportunities. As for ordinary Israelis – as I said – I think there were thousands of Israeli tourists visiting the UAE and there will definitely be more. “

He stressed that there is vast potential between the two countries in various fields. “Our goal, on both sides, is to realize this potential. We are only at the beginning of the process, but there is no doubt that our mutual future is bright and bright. “

Pavilion “open tent”

The Israel Pavilion, located in the Expo Opportunity District between the India and Italy pavilions, is full of symbolism. It is designed as an “open tent” without walls to signify openness, diversity and inclusion. The creators of the Israel Pavilion said the concept aims to “present Israel as an open and diverse society that offers equal rights to all of its inhabitants.” It is also an open invitation to collaborate and meet various global challenges ”.

NAT 210927 ISREAL PAVALION VSAKLANI-14-1632756035769

Israel pavilion at Expo 2020 Dubai has no walls
Image Credit: Virendra Saklani / Gulf News

Officials said visitors to the pavilion will take a trip to Israel’s past, present and future – particularly highlighting Israel’s innovation in agriculture, water, medicine, communications and cyber technology.

“Human bridges”

Razvozov thanked the UAE for hosting Israel at the Expo. “Having an Israeli flag on UAE soil just a year after the signing of the Abrahamic Accords is a big step forward in relations between our countries. The Abrahamic Accords are unprecedented and represent a new chapter in the history of the Middle East peace process. The decision to sign the agreements was the result of courage and broad vision. I would like to congratulate and thank the leaders of the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain for this, ”he said.

“Peace is maintained through mutual learning and recognition among common people. In this context, tourists from Israel and the United Arab Emirates are building bridges, human bridges for peace. I invite tourists from the United Arab Emirates to come and explore our beautiful country and the warmth of its people. “

Destination Israel

Razvozov said Israel will use the Expo as a viable platform to attract tourists from around the world to Israel. He added that the Israeli Ministry of Tourism “has taken important steps to position Israel as a destination of choice for travelers to the United Arab Emirates.”

Razvozov added: “In addition, we physically inspect the sites that we believe will be of interest to tourists from the UAE, build itineraries for future clients, educate hoteliers and tour guides on how to properly accommodate tourists. of the United Arab Emirates. “

According to Razvozov, Israel is expected to welcome around 100,000 visitors from the United Arab Emirates each year “once the borders between the two countries are fully opened and travel restrictions due to COVID-19 are lifted.”

Land of contrasts

Razvozov shared with Gulf News what tourists can expect when they visit Israel for the first time. “Israel is a country of contrasts, where East meets West and thousands of years of history meet young innovative cities. Here you can taste food from many cultures and enjoy both street food and hot food, both of which will be of superior quality and taste. Israel is a versatile country that one can visit many times and always find new and exciting sites to see.

“First-time visitors should definitely stop by Jerusalem, an ancient city full of history and the holiest sites of the Abrahamic religions. Here you will see the colorful Muslim, Christian, Jewish and Armenian neighborhoods and walk through narrow and picturesque streets full of life and joy, ”he said. Attract tourists from the Gulf

Razvozov noted: “There are a lot of great attractions specifically for Gulf visitors. Even though we don’t have much experience with Muslim tourists yet, we are a perfect destination due to our great similarities. We have many halal restaurants, as well as kosher restaurants, which are actually halal as well. Additionally, we have plenty of Arabic speaking tour guides and sights related to Islamic religion and culture including Al Jazar Mosque in Acre, Hassan Beck Mosque in Tel Aviv and most certainly Al Aqsa Mosque.

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