Israeli stamp in passport when entering Dubai UAE
Israel - Israeli stamp in passport when entering Dubai UAE
Many people, and online sources, will say UAE visas (and entry to Dubai, Abu Dhabi, or other UAE emirates) are not permitted for anyone with an Israeli stamp in their passport. This may have been correct in the past, or it may be one of those official rules that no one takes any notice of since many visitors have entered the UAE despite having entry stamps from Israel in their passport. There are also statements from official sources that make it clear having an Israeli stamp in your passport should not on its own prevent you from entering the UAE. For example:
- The UAE Ministry of Foriegn Affairs (MOFA) says on their UAE embassy websites (www.uae-embassy.ae, checked Jan 2015): "The existance [sic] of Israel stamp on the passport is not a reason to reject your entry to UAE."
Israeli citizens are not permitted to enter the UAE on an Israeli passport or apply for a UAE visa. Israeli citizens can probably transit through the UAE ... usually. An Israeli citizen with a non-Israeli passport could use that to enter the UAE, but might be subject to additional security checks (we would assume the UAE authorities know about your Israeli passport even if you don't tell them).
Search IATA Timatic Web travel information. Timatic is the system used by airlines for checking passengers are "OK to Board", but public access directly is not available, however some airline websites have a visa requirement section available. Searches attempted (we used Emirates Airlines website):
- Israeli passport holder traveling to the UAE returns "Admission and Transit Restrictions: Nationals of Israel are not allowed to enter."
- Israeli passport holder transiting through the UAE to another country returns no restrictions on transit due to passport.
- Non-Israeli passport holder traveling to the UAE returns results with no mention of any restrictions related to visiting Israel.
- The IATA Travel Information Manual (TIM) (April 2011 edition) says "Holders of passports containing an Israeli visa or stamps need to obtain a clearance issued by the C.L.D. (Crime Investigation Dept) upon arrival." Which has a couple of typos - presumably they meant the CID (Criminal Investigation Department). This information is probably out of date, or rarely applied, in the case of visitors to the UAE. For expat residents it might still be applicable.
Note that this information is specifically about Israeli stamps in your passport, and Israeli passports. There is no official restriction on entry to the UAE for anyone because they are Jewish, as far as we know.
- The website of the UAE Embassy in the UK (www.uaeembassyuk.net) says "Israeli stamps endorsement is not a problem for UAE entry".
- The US UAE Embassy website (www.uae-embassy.org) says "All Americans with a valid US passport are welcome to enter the UAE. This includes those with visa or entry stamps from other countries" (as of December 2008). Which might not refer to Israel since the UAE doesn't officially recognise Israel as a "country" as far as we know.
- Israeli citizens are normally denied visas to the UAE however, and entry might be denied to Israelis travelling on another passport, or other nationals who were born in Israel - check with the UAE immigration department or your nearest UAE embassy in that case.
- The Dubai Development & Investment Authority (DDIA) website said (in 2006) "Israeli' nationals will not be issued visas." But did not say anything about other nationals with Israeli stamps in their passports. Website no longer available.
- Although visa rules are federal, there appear to be differences in how they are applied in the different emirates. Dubai is generally perceived as being the most tolerant, and if you do have a evidence of a visit to Israel in your passport, try and enter the UAE in Dubai rather than other emirates. Abu Dhabi might be ok also, but Sharjah and Ras Al Khaimah could be more difficult or inconsistent.
- For Israeli passport holders and citizens of Israel planning to be in transit through Dubai airport, Abu Dhabi airport, or any other UAE airport, it seems to be ok given that the traveller is not properly entering the UAE. The airline should have some idea, but also try contacting a UAE embassy or immigration department before you travel - rules can change, or they can be implemented more strictly or more leniently.
The SMH (Sydney Morning Herald) on 05 November 2012 had some comments about Israeli passport holders and stamps in other passports in a report about the proposed Emirates-Qantas codeshare agreement. The report said, in response to concerns voiced by the Executive Council of Australian Jewry about the alliance ...
- Qantas has sought to allay the concerns by assuring the Jewish community that Israeli passport holders can buy tickets for Emirates flights and transit Dubai without requiring a visa.
- The airline has also given assurances that anyone traveling on a non-Israeli passport but with a stamp indicating they have visited Israel will be able to enter Dubai.
Unknown how reliable this information is - the comment about Israel stamps is probably accurate, but as for Israeli passport holders transiting Dubai, no official comment from the UAE or Dubai governments was found or supplied, and entry to the UAE is not permitted for Israeli passport holders.
Israel and Qatar relations with the UAE
Qatar UAE diplomatic relations cut - main page.
- In June 2017 the UAE (and several other Arab countries) cut transport, trade, and other official links with Qatar, instructed Qatari citizens to leave the respective countries, and banned Qatari citizens and Qatar Airways from visiting the UAE. Which sort of resulted in relations between Qatar and the UAE to appear similar to relations between Israel and the UAE. A major difference however is that the UAE does still recognize Qatar as a legitimate country, whereas the UAE does not officially recognize Israel as an independent state. Nevertheless, the UAE does continue to have some connections to both countries. Mostly unofficial with Israel, and official with Qatar.
- Qatari passport holders have, since June 2017, joined Israel in the small group of nationalities who are not (usually) permitted to visit the UAE. Exceptions are made for sporting and cultural events, government officials, and in the case of Qatar, for some Qatari family members related to UAE citizens, an exemption which does not apply to Israeli citizens.
- Neither the Israel or Qatar national airlines have flights to the UAE, nor are there any direct flights between the UAE and Qatar or Israel. Ironically though, UAE residents are blocked from the Qatar Airways website but not the EL AL Israel Airlines website.
Israeli citizens visiting Abu Dhabi, Dubai, UAE
- Mar 2019 - Special Olympics in Abu Dhabi, a delegation of 27 Israeli athletes took part in the games. Reference: www.abudhabi2019.org/delegation/so-israel/.
- Several international sports events had Israeli competitors attending, representing Israel (swimming, judo).
- Jan 2014 - Israeli Minister for Energy and Water, Silvan Shalom, attended an IRENA conference in Abu Dhabi, prompting a boycott of the conference by the Kuwaiti delegation.
- Apr 2012 - A dozen or more Israeli cardiologists were invited to a World Heart Federation conference (World Congress of Cardiology 2012) held in Dubai from 18-21 April 2012, but were denied visas for the UAE. However, 2 invitees did apparently attend - one from the Sourasky Medical Center in Tel Aviv, and the other from the Rabin Medical Center, but reportedly were restricted to staying in their hotel and attending the conference (Jerusalem Post 24 April 2012).
- Dec 2010 - An Israeli swimming team attended the 10th FINA World Short Course Swimming Championship held from 15-19 December 2010 at the Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Sports Complex, and the Israeli flag was displayed. A TV crew from Israel, and the International Olympic Committee (IOC) Israeli representative Alex Giladi, also apparently attended. News reports said there were some last minute delays before UAE visas were issued to the Israelis.
- Feb 2010 - Shahar Peer, a female tennis player from Israel, attended the February 2010 Dubai Tennis Championship and got as far as the quarter finals before being taken down by Serena Williams. Tennis matches with Ms Peer were played on the less accessible Court 1, not Center Court, for security reasons.
- On 20 January 2010, a Hamas leader, Mahmoud Al Mabhouh, was allegedly murdered in the Al Bustan Rotana Hotel in Dubai by Mossad (the Israeli secret service) agents. The Chief of Dubai Police, Lieutenant General Dhahi Khalfan Tamim, announced a list of suspects in the murder and said he was "almost certain" that Mossad was behind the attack. Interpol issued arrest warrants for the suspects. Lt Gen Dahi also said on 02 March 2010 that he wanted to issue arrest warrents for Benjamin Netanyahu, the Israeli Prime Minister, and Meir Dagan, the head of Mossad, if it was shown that they were behind the attack. The suspects entered the UAE on fake and/or stolen passports belonging to countries other than Israel, including Australia, France, Germany, Ireland, UK, but it was claimed they had dual nationality. Later reports (01 or 02 March 2010) quoted Lt Gen Dahi Tamim as saying "We will not allow those who hold Israeli passports into the UAE no matter what other passport they have," referring to potential future visits to the UAE by Israeli citizens attempting to enter the country on a different passport (if they have one).
- In January 2010, the Israeli Minister of National Infrastructure, Uzi Landau, attended the IRENA Preparatory Commission conference in Abu Dhabi. Mr Landau was reportedly the first Israeli Minister to visit the UAE.
- In October 2009, two Israeli delegates visited Abu Dhabi as part of the IRENA (International Renewable Energy Agency) Administrative Committee Meeting, and the Israeli flag was displayed at the conference (the first time it was displayed in the UAE apparently, other than on the ground during the occasional protest in the UAE against Israel's treatment of Palestinians). Abu Dhabi is the interim headquarters of the IRENA Agency. The Israeli delegation consisted of Simona Halperin, Director of the Israel Ministry of Foreign Affairs Human Rights and International Organizations, and Dr Avraham Arbiv from the Israel Ministry of Infrastructure.
- In February 2009, Shahar Peer, a female Israeli tennis player due to play in the WTA Dubai tennis tournament, was denied a visa. However, the possibility of Dubai having the tennis tournament taken away from them as a result of that decision, prompted Dubai to issue a visa to Andy Ram, a male Israeli tennis player in the men's tournament the following week. Following the 2009 tournament, the Dubai Tennis Open organisers were fined (US$300,000?), and were required to give an assurance that Shahar Peer would be issued a visa at least 10 weeks before the Dubai tournament started in 2010. As UAE visas normally only have an 8 week validity period before entry, it would be ironic if Ms Peer was issued a visa, then refused entry because it was out of date 10 weeks later.
- In September 2003, Israeli officials, headed by Minister Without Portfolio, Meir Sheetrit, attended the World Bank and International Monetary Fund (IMF) meetings held in Dubai.
Visiting Israel after a trip to Dubai
- There are no entry restrictions to Israel for visitors who have a visa stamp from Abu Dhabi, Dubai or anywhere else in the UAE, however on entry to Israel you might be questioned a bit more than if you had not been to the UAE.
- Note that there are no direct flights or travel connections between the UAE and Israel, as Israel is not recognized by the UAE. There are a number of airlines flying to Dubai that also have flights to Israel so you can connect easily with one of them.
Last update Monday 11-Mar-2019
- Qatar UAE relations - Since June 2017, Qatar also became a country with restricted connections to the UAE.
- Visa Dubai - general information and procedures.
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