Israel–United Arab Emirates relations

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Israel-United Arab Emirates relations
Map indicating locations of United Arab Emirates and Israel

United Arab Emirates


Israel – United Arab Emirates relations do not currently exist. The United Arab Emirates does not recognize Israel as a state and the two countries do not have diplomatic or economic relations. Israel has announced it is going to open an official diplomatic mission in Abu Dhabi to the International Renewable Energy Agency.[1][2]


Uzi Landau visit[edit]

On January 16, 2010, Israel's Minister of National Infrastructure Uzi Landau attended a renewable energy conference in Abu Dhabi. He was the first Israeli minister to ever visit the UAE.[3]

Mabhouh assassination[edit]

The assassination of Mahmoud al-Mabhouh in Dubai on January 19, 2010, led the UAE to call for the arrest via Interpol of Meir Dagan, director of Israel's Mossad. Israel has neither denied nor confirmed any involvement. Dubai's Chief of Police, Dhahi Khalfan Tamim, stated that all travelers suspected of being Israeli will not be allowed into the country, even if they arrived on foreign passports.[4]

Shahar Pe'er incident[edit]

In February 2010, Israeli tennis player Shahar Pe'er was denied a visa by the UAE, and thus prevented from playing at the Dubai Tennis Championships. A number of players, among them Venus Williams,[5] condemned the visa rejection, and Women's Tennis Association chief Larry Scott said that he had considered canceling the tournament, but chose not to after consulting Pe'er. Tournament director Salah Tahlak said that Pe'er was refused on the grounds that her appearance could incite anger in the Arab country, after she had already faced protests at the ASB Classic over the Gaza War.[6] The WTA said that it would review future tournaments in Dubai.[7] Due to the action, Tennis Channel decided not to televise the event[8] and The Wall Street Journal dropped its sponsorship.[9] The 2008 winner of the men's singles Andy Roddick chose not to defend his title, with prize money of over $2 million, to protest against the UAE's refusal to grant Pe'er a visa. "I really didn't agree with what went on over there. I don't know if it's the best thing to mix politics and sports, and that was probably a big part of it," Roddick said.[10]


As the UAE does not officially recognize Israel, Israeli passport-holders cannot legally enter the UAE. Restrictions were tightened against the entry of Israeli citizens following Mahbouh's assassination in Dubai, blamed on Israeli intelligence.[11] However, there are Jewish expatriates in the UAE, and there are Israelis with dual citizenship who live, visit and work in the UAE as citizens of other countries.[12] Some Israeli companies conduct business in the UAE indirectly through third parties.[12]


  1. ^ "Exclusive: Israel to Open First Diplomatic Mission in Abu Dhabi - Israel News - Israel News - Haaretz Israeli News Source". Retrieved 2015-11-28. 
  2. ^ Weinglass, Simona. "In diplomatic first, Israel to open mission in Abu Dhabi". The Times of Israel. Retrieved 2015-11-28. 
  3. ^ "Landau 1st Israeli minister to visit Abu Dhabi - Israel News, Ynetnews". 1995-06-20. Retrieved 2015-11-28. 
  4. ^ "Dubai police chief bars all suspected Israelis entering UAE | World news". The Guardian. Retrieved 2015-11-28. 
  5. ^ [1] Archived February 26, 2009, at the Wayback Machine.
  6. ^ "Dubai faces censure over Peer ban". BBC Sport. 2009-02-17. Retrieved 2009-02-17. 
  7. ^ "UAE denies visa to Israeli tennis player -". CNN. February 15, 2009. Retrieved May 5, 2010. 
  8. ^ Sandomir, Richard. "Tennis Channel Won’t Televise Dubai Event in Protest." The New York Times. February 16, 2009. Retrieved on February 18, 2009.
  9. ^ Ovide, Shira. "Journal Drops Dubai Tennis Sponsorship." The Wall Street Journal. February 18, 2009. Retrieved on February 18, 2009.
  10. ^ [2][dead link]
  11. ^ "'Israelis No Longer Allowed in Dubai After Hamas Hit' - Israel News - Haaretz Israeli News Source". 2010-03-01. Retrieved 2015-11-28. 
  12. ^ a b Friedman, Ron. "Israelis doing business in Dubai will wait out storm - Middle East - Jerusalem Post". Retrieved 2015-11-28.