September 27, 2023

Israel’s Tourism Minister Haim Katz embarked on a groundbreaking diplomatic visit to Bahrain on Tuesday, with the aim of strengthening tourism ties between the two nations. This visit, carried out “in the spirit of the Abraham Accords,” marks a significant step towards fostering greater cooperation and mutual benefits in the tourism sector. Katz is the first minister to officially represent the current Israeli government in Bahrain.

In an official statement, Minister Katz expressed his enthusiasm for the visit and emphasized the potential of transforming the Middle East into a leading tourist region, particularly in the Asian market and other distant destinations. His vision is to offer a diverse range of attractions, blending rich historical heritage with modernization, vibrant culture, and delectable cuisine.

During his visit, Minister Katz held a crucial meeting with Bahrain’s Crown Prince and Prime Minister, Salman bin Hamad Al Khalifa. Katz’s purpose in this trip was to make a bilateral and personal agreement with “Salman Bin Hamad Al Khalifa”, Crown Prince and Prime Minister of Bahrain in the field of business and tourism. The bilateral discussions resulted in an agreement to establish long-term cooperation in the field of tourism, paving the way for exciting opportunities and exchange between the countries.

Furthermore, Minister Katz also engaged in productive meetings with Bahrain’s Minister of Tourism, Al-Saifari, and the Minister of Finance and Economy, Salman bin Khalifa Al Khalifa. These meetings served as platforms for dialogue, fostering stronger ties and exploring avenues for collaboration in the tourism industry.

This diplomatic visit to Bahrain comes after Israel’s ambassador to Bahrain, Eitan Na’eh, expressed optimism about the growing relations between Israelis and Emiratis, but acknowledged that the level of tourism and economic expansion between Jerusalem and Manama had yet to reach its full potential. The signing of the Abraham Accords in 2020 laid the foundation for normalization between Israel and Arab nations, including Bahrain, and opened up new avenues for cooperation across various sectors.

With Minister Katz’s visit to Bahrain, both countries are taking a significant stride forward in enhancing bilateral tourism relations. This endeavor is expected to facilitate greater cultural exchange, economic growth, and mutual understanding between the peoples of Israel and Bahrain. As the Middle East continues to redefine its place on the global tourism map, such initiatives contribute to the region’s transformation into an increasingly attractive and thriving tourist destination.

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