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200 Israelis stuck in Dubai airport following initial entry denial

December 7, 2020 at 4:19 pm

Airline travellers wait to clear immigration control at the Dubai International Airport in the United Arab Emirates on August 25, 2016 [Robert Nickelsberg/Getty Images]

Around 200 Israeli passengers were held up in Dubai International Airport (DXB) this morning due to a brief change of immigration rules, Al-Khaleej Times reported.

According to Israel’s Channel 12 TV, the United Arab Emirates (UAE) had initially denied entry to Israeli passengers after suspending their visas, while passengers with non-Israeli citizenship were allowed into the country.

However, the “misunderstanding” was resolved after e-visa applications were completed, Israeli Foreign Ministry spokesman Lior Haiat said.

“The issue was addressed by the highest authorities of both the UAE and Israeli Foreign Ministry. [The tourists] filled out the electronic visa form and was allowed to enter the country,” said Haiat.

This comes after the UAE and Israel agreed on visa-free travel for their citizens after the two countries normalised relations in September. The same is to apply to Emiratis visiting Israel.

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“We apologize to the 155 passengers who were delayed on arrival this morning. We are reviewing the reasons behind the delay and fully understand that this was inconvenient to our passengers’ schedules,” said a spokesperson from flyDubai.

“This is not the standard of service we expect for any of our passengers and we are also revalidating the processes and procedures to prevent any delays to subsequent flights.”

Following the signing of a normalisation deal between the UAE and Israel, dozens of agreements were signed in different fields, along with daily flights taking off between the two countries.

The UAE became only the third Arab country to normalise ties with Israel, following Egypt in 1979 and Jordan in 1994.

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