Orit Farkash Hacohen
Orit Farkash Hacohen, the Israeli Minister, says there will be a learning curve for the nations and its peoples, but tourism can speed up the process. Image Credit: Gulf News

Dubai: Cultural norms will be duly taken into account regarding tourism between the UAE and Israel, Israel's Tourism Minister told the virtual UAE-Israel Business Leaders Summit.

Orit Farkash Hacohen said Israel is, for example, sprucing up its tourism-related content in Arabic and providing dos and don’ts for Israelis when receiving tourists from the UAE.

“Tourism is about connecting between cultures and connections between people. And while governments signed treaties, it is the people who make the true peace.

"In that sense, tourism is the key for a full normalisation between these two cultures of the Emirates and the Israelites,” Hacohen told the summit.

The three-day Summit is co-hosted by Gulf News and TheMarker. (Register for the Summit on https://www.uae-israel-summit.com/home). The UAE and Israel signed the Abraham Accords in August.

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What can UAE tourists expect?

Hacohen said Israel is targeting 100,000 tourists a year, including from the UAE, who will find plenty to see and do. Israel has modern cities but also ancient history “like nowhere else, that is sacred for the three religions” of Islam, Judaism and Christianity. The country also has both snow-capped mountains and a desert.

Mutually benefiting

“Once the sky opens, we're also working on the aircraft transportation lines to create all kinds of commercial collaboration, so that there will be an added-value for both countries," the Minister added. "We have a lot of expectations on this, and I hope these [mutual packages] will become a reality.

“I hope the combination between the Emirates and Israel can market something that is more than ‘one-plus-one’ to tourists from all over the world, because the combination of seeing the different characteristic of these two countries can create a whole new experience of tourism."

For Israeli tourists coming to the UAE, there have been steps taken to familiarise them with the new experience. “We have prepared brochures for Israelis who are going to the Emirates to understand that they are coming to a new culture. Israelis are known to be very loud sometimes... but we are a great people.”