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Over 50,000 Israelis have visited UAE since peace deal signing

Over 70,000 travelers from Israel expected in Gulf state during Hanukkah holiday

An Israeli passenger from a flydubai flight from Tel Aviv waves her Israeli passport on arrival at Dubai International Airport in the United Arab Emirates, November 26, 2020. (AP Photo/Jon Gambrell)
An Israeli passenger from a flydubai flight from Tel Aviv waves her Israeli passport on arrival at Dubai International Airport in the United Arab Emirates, November 26, 2020. (AP Photo/Jon Gambrell)

JTA — Over 50,000 Israelis have visited the United Arab Emirates since the recent normalization pact between Israel and the UAE, according to a Monday report.

That number comes after only weeks of open commercial flights between the countries, which agreed to open the diplomatic and tourism floodgates in a historic agreement signed in September.

There are regular, direct flights running between Tel Aviv and Dubai, and both countries have declared each other “green zones,” meaning quarantine is not required for travelers upon arrival or return.

Over 70,000 Israelis were expected to visit the UAE throughout the Hanukkah holiday, which ends on Friday, The Washington Post reported, citing Israeli tourism officials.

The report also said that the Jewish community center in Dubai, the UAE capital, is increasing its staff from five to “about 30” employees, and that nearly 150 restaurants in the UAE have begun serving kosher food.

The Jewish center is planning to build a mikveh, or ritual bath, “befitting Dubai’s luxury standards.”

“It will probably be the nicest mikveh in the world,” said Rabbi Mendel Duchman, who works for the Jewish Community Center.

Times of Israel staff contributed to this report.

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