The United Arab Emirates UAE and Israel have taken another significant step in strengthening their newly formed, albeit controversial, relationship by finalizing an agreement that recognizes each other’s driving licenses. The development follows the signing of a free trade agreement between the two countries.
This move allows Israeli tourists and temporary residents to use their Israeli licenses to drive in the UAE, and Emiratis to do the same in Israel. Additionally, long-term residents in both countries will have the option to swap their licenses for local ones. The agreement has immediate effect and does not have an expiration date.
According to Israeli Foreign Minister Eli Cohen, this agreement will reduce the burden on tourists and make travel to the UAE more accessible, without worrying about bureaucratic processes.
Since the signing of the Abraham Accords in 2020, the relationship between the UAE and Israel has been one of the most important and controversial developments in the Middle East. While some have lauded the move as a step towards peace in the region, others have criticized it as an abandonment of the Palestinian cause and a betrayal of Arab as well as Muslim solidarity.
Critics of the Abraham Accords have also questioned its legitimacy, as it appears to provide recognition to Israel’s discriminatory policies towards its Arab citizens and its continued occupation of Palestinian territories.
This latest agreement is expected to further cement the relationship between the UAE and Israel and facilitate smoother travel for residents and tourists. However, it remains to be seen how the controversial relationship between these two nations will evolve in the coming years.