Two Israeli tourists who were injured in a car accident while in Dubai said they have been given star treatment by medical staff, apparently because they are Israeli, with the emirate’s crown prince and president even sending a helicopter out to rescue them.
Liran Landau and his fellow traveler, identified only as Neta, were hospitalized following the accident occurred in the desert, Channel 12 news reported Sunday.
Speaking with the station from his hospital bed, Landau said that he was in stable condition and that Neta, who suffered slightly worse injuries, was also stable. The report did not say when the accident happened, or how badly the pair were hurt.
“We are here in the hospital and they are caring for us in a truly exemplary way, Landau said. “Sheikh al-Halifa, and Sheikh Mohamad Ben Ziad, both sent a helicopter to rescue us in the middle of the desert, [help] arrived in all-wheel drive jeeps from all directions, [there were] police,” he said apparently referring to Crown Prince Mohammed bin Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan and President Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan.
“We noted that we are Israelis and immediately we got VIP treatment,” he said. “I have a British passport and Neta has a Portuguese passport” but the paramedics still advised them to identify themselves as Israeli.
“The paramedics told us to say that we have Israeli passports because they will take the best possible care of [us],” Landau recalled. “And that is how it was. They laid out the red carpet for us at the entrance to the hospital. We prefer to stay here than at the Four Seasons Hotel.”
Israel and the United Arab Emirates signed a normalization agreement in September that has been followed by the establishment of regular flights several times a week between Tel Aviv and Dubai.
There has been a rush of Israeli tourism to the country. The Ynet website cited a Health Ministry source Sunday as estimating there are currently some 10,000 Israelis in Dubai, where they have been been warmly greeted by locals.