Ahead of next week’s signing of the historic U.S.-brokered normalization accord between the United Arab Emirates and Israel, Abu Dhabi’s Department of Culture and Tourism has instructed hotels to begin providing kosher food in preparation for the influx of Israeli and Jewish tourists expected to visit the Gulf nation.
“Based on the commitment of the Department of Culture and Tourism-Abu Dhabi to ensure certain foods are available for all visitors and tourists in the emirate of Abu Dhabi, please note that all hotel establishments are advised to include kosher food options on room service menus and at all food & beverage outlets in their establishments,” the Abu Dhabi Department of Culture and Tourism wrote in a memo to hotel managers throughout the Emirates.
The Emirati government also requested that the U.S. based Orthodox Union become the leading kosher certification agency in the country.
“As the Jewish community in the United Arab Emirates continues to grow and due to the influx of Jewish tourists, there is a need for kosher food and a certification that is internationally known,” said Orthodox Union Kosher CEO Rabbi Menachem Genack. “We thank the UAE government for reaching out to us to provide this service and are looking forward to partnering with the local Jewish community to provide kosher food and certification.”
There are up to 1,500 Jews currently living in the UAE, most of whom are residents of Dubai.
According to U.S. officials, senior delegations from Israel and the UAE will sign the peace accord on the White House lawn on September 15. The delegations will likely be led by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Emirati Foreign Minister Abdullah bin Zayad, the brother of the Abu Dhabi crown prince.
Netanyahu tweeted on Tuesday night: “I am proud to go to Washington next week, at the invitation of President Trump, and to attend the historic White House ceremony to establish the peace agreement between Israel and the United Arab Emirates!”
Senior UAE official Hend al-Otaiba also issued a statement saying that it “will be a momentous occasion in the histories of our two countries and the region.”
Next week, HH Sheikh Abdulla bin Zayed Al Nahyan will lead a historic delegation of senior UAE officials to Washington DC, to participate in the signing ceremony for the peace accord with Israel. It will be a momentous occasion in the histories of our two countries & the region.
— هند مانع العتيبة Hend Al Otaiba (@hend_mana) September 8, 2020
President Donald Trump, whose administration stewarded negotiations over the UAE-Israel deal for 18 months, has been recognized for his efforts by Norwegian politician Christian Tybring-Gjedde who nominated the U.S. president for the Nobel Peace Prize.