Emirates begins daily service between Tel Aviv and Dubai

Two years after the normalization of relations between Israel and the United Arab Emirates through the Abraham Accords, Israelis can now travel to Dubai on daily flights from Emirates.

Emirates Airline Boeing 777-300ER planes are seen at Dubai International Airport in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, February 15, 2019. (photo credit: REUTERS/CHRISTOPHER PIKE/FILE PHOTO)
Emirates Airline Boeing 777-300ER planes are seen at Dubai International Airport in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, February 15, 2019.
(photo credit: REUTERS/CHRISTOPHER PIKE/FILE PHOTO)

On a historic day at Ben-Gurion Airport, Emirates flight EK 931 became the airline’s first journey on its Dubai to Tel Aviv route. Hundreds watched as the enormous Boeing 777 “Game Changer” rolled down the tarmac toward the gate.

Two years after the normalization of relations between Israel and the United Arab Emirates through the Abraham Accords, Israelis can now travel to Dubai on daily flights from Emirates. From Dubai, which serves as the airline’s hub, more than 80 destinations can be reached on Emirates flights.

Transportation Minister Merav Michaeli, UAE Ambassador Mohamed Al Khaja and Israel Ambassador to the UAE Amir Hayek were in attendance for the plane’s arrival. Festivities included a gift exchange between Israeli and Emirati authorities, as well as a ceremonial cake cutting.

The route has strengthened the relationship between the two countries.

“The relationship [between Israel and the UAE] is a linchpin for the region, and we must continue to build upon our joint mutual opportunities,” Michaeli said. “This day marks one of those opportunities.”

Emirates airliners are seen on the tarmac in a general view of Dubai International Airport in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, January 13, 2021. (credit: REUTERS/ABDEL HADI RAMAHI/FILE PHOTO)Emirates airliners are seen on the tarmac in a general view of Dubai International Airport in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, January 13, 2021. (credit: REUTERS/ABDEL HADI RAMAHI/FILE PHOTO)

In addition to expanding travel opportunities, the new flight brings with it trade benefits. Up to 20 tons of cargo will be able to be exchanged between Israel and the UAE each day.

While the Boeing 777 on the first flight will not be the aircraft regularly used on the route, those flying between Tel Aviv and Dubai will enjoy many of the same features that the 777 boasts, according to Emirates COO Adel Ahmad Al Redha.

Some of those luxuries include private cabins, business-class seats that convert into beds, large televisions, and gourmet cuisine.

More flights could be coming soon

“[Dubai] will offer a gateway for visitors to link with the world.”

Emirates COO Adel Ahmad Al Redha

Given the high demand for travel on the Tel Aviv to Dubai route, Al Redha predicted that the airline might expand its service out of Ben-Gurion in the coming months.

“[Dubai] will offer a gateway for visitors to link with the world,” the COO stated. “Tel Aviv represents an important milestone as we expand our services in this region. There is already a strong interest in service from Tel Aviv. I wouldn’t be surprised to see a second flight from Tel Aviv in the next few months.”

Noting the name of the Boeing 777 Game Changer connected to the gate behind her, Michaeli reflected upon the significance of the new flight route, “The relationship between Israel and the UAE is a game-changer, and it became stronger today.”