Photo Credit: Wikimedia / Mohammadreza Farhadi Aref / CC 4.0
Flydubai Boeing 737-800 (A6-FDN) seen at Dubai International Airport.

Israeli airlines are mulling the necessity of rerouting flights from Dubai to Abu Dhabi in the United Arab Emirates due to a disagreement over security arrangements at the Dubai airport.

Flights to the UAE capital, Abu Dhabi, are not affected.

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Israel’s domestic intelligence and security agency, the Shin Bet said in confirming the report, “Over the past few months, security disputes have emerged between the competent bodies in Dubai and the Israeli aviation security system, in a way that does not allow for the responsible enactment of security for Israeli aviation.

“At the same time, if the flights of Israeli companies are stopped on this route, the possibility of transferring Israeli flights to Abu Dhabi is being examined,” the agency said, adding that efforts towards resolving the dispute were continuing.

The Israeli Prime Minister’s Office (PMO), Foreign Ministry and Transportation Ministry have joined the Shin Bet in talks with the UAE government to resolve the issue, according to Israeli news reports.

“It should be emphasized that the disputes are solely on a security basis relating to the standards used at the airport in Dubai, and are not tied to regional diplomatic relations,” the Shin Bet added.

Senior Israeli officials were quoted by Walla and other news outlets as saying if no agreement is reached, Israeli direct flights to Dubai will end this coming Tuesday. If that happens, Israel will not allow direct flights by Emirates Airlines and FlyDubai, from Dubai to Ben Gurion International Airport, to ensure Israeli airlines will not be economically compromised.

El Al Airlines, Israir and Arkia all began flying direct routes between Tel Aviv and Dubai in December 2020. State-owned airline FlyDubai launched daily direct flights between the two destinations at around the same time. Emirates Airlines began its daily non-stop flight between Dubai and Tel Aviv a year later, in December 2021.

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Hana Levi Julian is a Middle East news analyst with a degree in Mass Communication and Journalism from Southern Connecticut State University. A past columnist with The Jewish Press and senior editor at Arutz 7, Ms. Julian has written for Babble.com, Chabad.org and other media outlets, in addition to her years working in broadcast journalism.