When it comes to Middle Eastern travel and working locations, Dubai is one of the major hotspots under scrutiny in the world.
While Dubai is a highly diverse city, its location in the UAE (United Arab Emirates) leads to questions, namely – can members of the Jewish faith go to Dubai?
Yes, while Jewish experts in various trades have been welcome for some time, the last two years have seen a relaxation of former restrictions on Jewish travel to and from Dubai.
For more information on Jewish travel in and around Dubai, keep reading.
Are Jews Allowed To Go To Dubai?
In previous years, practitioners of the Jewish faith required a special visa, or a non-Israeli passport to travel in and out of the United Arab Emirates (UAE), including Dubai.
However, since 2020, these restrictions have gradually been lifted.
Depending on the time of year, upwards of 40,000 individuals of Jewish faith have been logged as visiting Dubai, at least from Israel.
What Were The Original Restrictions on Jewish Travel to Dubai?
Originally, individuals of Jewish faith could not travel to Dubai on an Israeli passport. Those wishing to do so required a special visa, and received no passport stamp.
Jewish individuals from other countries faced fewer restrictions but were still encouraged to visit Dubai for vacation purposes only.
How Were These Restrictions Changed?
In 2020, the Abraham Accords were signed between the UAE and Israel, with the goal of normalizing relations and maintaining peace in the Middle East.
With the signing of these Accords came the first steps to allowing Jews to freely visit Dubai.
As of 2021, all Israeli individuals with previously issued passports have visa exemptions. In other cases, Israeli and non-Israeli Jews alike are permitted to come and go with few, if any restrictions.
What Else Has Changed For Jews In Dubai?
As of 2022, the Jewish population has grown in Dubai, to the point that the capital city now houses at least one officially recognized synagogue.
Likewise, Jewish travel to and from Dubai has grown, and Dubai now supports a modest community of Jewish businessmen who make their home and their living in the capital city.
Is It Safe For Jews to Visit Dubai?
By all accounts, it is as safe for Jewish individuals to visit Dubai as it is to visit any other place, and safer than many.
The UAE boasts a highly tolerant and peaceful attitude, both in terms of religion and politics, and has stated a goal to be considered a place of multifaith tolerance and coexistence.
What Is The Importance of Dubai For Members of Jewish Faith?
Dubai is being held up as the standard and prime example of the changing politics of the Middle East.
For Jewish individuals, the city represents itself as a place to mingle safely with members of several other religious and cultural backgrounds. Most notably, it is place where Arabic and Muslim cultures can mix with their Jewish compatriots.
What Else Is Important About Dubai?
Dubai is considered one of the most ethnically and culturally diverse cities in the world, rivaling even cities like New York.
Many of the expatriates and residents of Dubai are first-generation, and strongly connected to the cultural practices of their origins.
This has produced a vibrant culture that showcases many of the prominent practices of Islamic, Arabic, and other Middle Eastern cultures, including those of the Jewish faith.
Dubai is also one of the wealthiest cities in the Middle East, specifically the UAE, and depends in part on the diverse social structure to maintain that status.
What Does Dubai Offer the Jewish People?
Aside from being a town full of luxurious vacation spots, Dubai has the benefit of being a city of free trade, with low taxes.
Innovative architecture and a lively shopping scene with high degrees of hospitality make this an excellent spot to visit for a vacation.
Dubai is also a gateway to the rest of the Middle East, for both vacationers and businessmen alike.
Despite its position in the United Arab Emirates, Dubai has become increasingly welcoming of members of the Jewish faith, from Israel and further abroad.
As of 2020, the borders have become increasingly open to Jewish visitors, and those who wish to visit Dubai today should have no issues whatsoever with enjoying all the city has to offer.