Israeli housing project in Dubai to include synagogue and kosher restaurant

Israeli housing project in Dubai to include synagogue and kosher restaurant
A synagogue and a kosher restaurant are to be included in a new housing development following a deal between an Israeli and Syrian businessman.
2 min read
17 December, 2020
The housing development will include amenities for Jewish people, including a synagogue [Getty]]

An Israeli newspaper has reported that work has begun on a new development in the UAE, which will cater for Jewish visitors and residents.

The new housing project being built in Dubai, which is being funded in part by an Israeli businessman, will include a synagogue and a restaurant that serves kosher food, Israel Hayom reported.

The Weizmann Real Estate Group has been named as the Israeli entity behind the project, reportedly in conjunction with a Syrian business partner. 

The housing project is reported to be in “one of the most prestigious areas in Dubai” and in addition to a kosher restaurant and a synagogue, the building will also have a lift that works on Shabbat hours. 

According to Haim Weizmann, the synagogue was donated to the Israeli businessman when the Syrian learned of his background.

“When they heard that I'm Israeli, we made a deal that they would engrave the Star of David and give me this synagogue, inside the 180-unit residential building,” Weizmann revealed to Arutz Sheva. “Syrians donated a synagogue to Israelis in Dubai. Nothing like this has ever happened before!” he added.

On Tuesday, a ceremony was held to install a mezuzah and a Torah was introduced to the premises. 

In a pre-recorded speech played at the conference, former Israeli Knesset deputy speaker Yeshil Hillik Bar said: “It is very exciting for me to be in Dubai, and to witness the development of real friendly relations between our two countries, whether at the diplomatic or business level.”

A conference is currently underway with, “Dozens of businessmen, rabbis, public figures and businessmen specialising in real estate from Israel, France, Georgia and other countries,” according to Israel Hayom

Read more: After UAE-Israel deal, which Arab countries could be next?

Following the deal Weizmann said: “Last year, no one would have believed that we would celebrate Hanukkah by lighting candles in Dubai with our new friends from the Emirates ... Besides social relations, we are also building close business relationships that will open up many diverse options for investors from Israel.”

The United Arab Emirates opened up as a viable market for Israeli businessmen and women following the normalisation of relations that took place in September. 

Israeli firms have secured lucrative business deals with the UAE, including one company that will import food products made in the occupied West Bank.

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