UAE could soon host its first Jewish neighbourhood, rabbi says amid Israel normalisation

UAE could soon host its first Jewish neighbourhood, rabbi says amid Israel normalisation
The UAE's top rabbi said he was in discussions with real estate developers to build a neighbourhood for the Gulf state's fast-growing Jewish population.
2 min read
17 April, 2022
The United Arab Emirates established ties with Israel through the controversial Abraham Records in August 2020 [Getty]

The United Arab Emirates is to establish a neighbourhood for its fast-growing Jewish population, Israeli outlet The Jerusalem Post reported the UAE's senior-most rabbi as saying.

“What we need is a Jewish neighbourhood, and I have been speaking with a few real estate developers about this,” said Elie Abadie, who heads the Jewish Council of the Emirates.

"We will be seeing more houses of worship, schools - from nurseries to higher education- a dedicated place for the Mikveh (a ritual bath designed for the Jewish rite of purification)... more kosher food establishments and a community centre," he said.

Lebanon-born Abadie told the Israeli outlet that he believed all Gulf Cooporation Council (GCC) countries will have "recognised Jewish communities" in the next five years.

Israel established diplomatic relations with the UAE through the controversial Abraham Records brokered by former US president Donald Trump in 2020. Bahrain, Morocco and Sudan soon followed suit.

Since then, facilities including kosher restaurants and a Jewish nursery school have been opened to accommodate the UAE's growing number of Israeli visitors and residents.

Around 1,000 Israelis have relocated to the emirate of Dubai since the normalisation accords were signed, Israeli media reported in January 2022, bringing the number of Jewish people living there to up to 4,000.

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All factions of the Palestinian leadership have condemned Israel-UAE ties, describing them as "a stab in the back" and a sacrifice of the Palestinian cause for financial gain.

Several Palestinian figures have boycotted the country, including the singer Dalal Abu Amna, who withdrew from the Dubai 2020 Expo earlier this year.