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May 30, 2022 View:

UAE sells Israeli wine for the first time

Following the normalization of relations between Israel and the UAE, wine produced in the Israeli Golan Heights will be sold to the UAE.

Image courtesy of: Jerusalem Life

The Golan Heights were occupied by Israel in 1967 during the Third Middle East War. The Israeli Knesset passed a law on the Golan Heights in 1981, which unilaterally declared Israel"s sovereignty over the Golan Heights, and in December 1981 the UN Security Council declared Israel's occupation of the Golan Heights to be illegal.

In the past, Gulf states such as the UAE have described the Golan Heights as Syrian territory and joined the international community in not recognizing Israel's annexation of the area in 1981. Last year, U.S. President Donald Trump recognized Israel's sovereignty over the Golan. The UAE said at the time that the U.S. move disrupted all efforts to achieve lasting peace in the Middle East.

Now, Golan Heights Winery in Israel has released a statement saying that its affiliated wine brands Mount Hermon, Yarden and Gamla will be available through the African+Eastern (A&E) wine store in the UAE.

African + Eastern is the largest wine importer in the UAE, with locations in Dubai and Abu Dhabi. The Israeli wines imported through African + Eastern will be sold in hotels, restaurants, and wine retail outlets. Previously, kosher wines from South Africa have been sold in the UAE, but this will be the first time that Israeli-made wines will be sold in the Gulf country.

The Golan Heights Winery's target customers are Israelis and Jewish tourists visiting the UAE.

In the UAE, only non-Muslims can legally drink alcohol.