Mohamed Al Khaja is the UAE's first ambassador to Israel. Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Co-operation
The UAE’s ambassador to Israel arrived in Tel Aviv on Monday and is expected to present his credentials to the Israeli President Reuven Rivlin in a ceremony at 4pm local time.
Mohamed Al Khaja's visit, which includes presenting "letters of credence" to the Israeli Foreign Ministry, is historic.
“For Emiratis and Israelis, a new chapter of openness, understanding and prosperity is beginning. Looking forward to my first visit. See you next week. Shabbat Shalom,” Mr Al Khaja said last week. His message was posted on Twitter in Arabic, English and Hebrew.
Mr Al Khaja co-wrote an op-ed for The National on Monday with Israel's ambassador to the UAE, Eitan Na’eh, who met Mr Al Khaja last week.
"Six months ago, an Emirati and Israeli diplomat were unlikely to be seen together, much less co-author a newspaper article," they said.
"Opening up direct relations and embassies seemed even more far-fetched. But here we are now, an Emirati ambassador in Israel and an Israeli head of mission in the UAE in public, together, writing in one voice."
Relations between the UAE and Israel have blossomed since the countries signed the Abraham Accord last September, normalising ties.
Israel and the UAE lead the world in vaccinations against Covid-19 as their governments move swiftly to inoculate their populations.
In line with Israel’s safety protocols, Mr Al Khaja was to take a Covid-19 test when he arrived in Israel.