First plane with Israeli tourists lands in UAE after deal

InternationalFirst plane with Israeli tourists lands in UAE after deal

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First plane with Israeli tourists lands in UAE after deal

Dubai: FlyDubai flight No. FZ8194 landed at Dubai International Airport just after 5:40 p.m., bringing the tourists to the skyscraper-studded city after a roughly three-hour trip. The low-cost carrier had sent one of its Boeing 737s to Ben-Gurion International Airport in Tel Aviv earlier Sunday morning to pick up the passengers.

The flight flew across Saudi Arabia and then over the waters of the Persian Gulf to reach the UAE, a federation of seven sheikhdoms also home to Abu Dhabi. The arrival of tourists comes as Dubai in particular tries to revive its vital tourism industry amid the ongoing coronavirus pandemic. The UAE and Israel have agreed to launch regular commercial flights between their countries soon, while other recent flights have carried business and governmental delegations.

FlyDubai plans to begin its flights to Tel Aviv later this month. The airline said described Sunday’s flight as a “charter” for the incoming tourists. It comes as Israel and the UAE, which had maintained covert contacts for years, brought their diplomatic relationship out into the open. It signed a normalization deal with Israel alongside Bahrain at a White House ceremony in September, making them the third and fourth Arab nations to currently have peace with Israel.

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