Over the years, numerous people hoping to visit the United Arab Emirates have worried whether or not their past travels to Israel might affect their ability to enter the UAE. At Swift Passport Services, we’ve done a lot of research on this particular topic, and based on travel information provided by the UAE Consulate and the US Department of State, we have found that US passport holders who have Israeli stamps in their passports are allowed to enter the United Arab Emirates. In addition, Israeli-born people who hold US passports are also allowed to enter the United Arab Emirates. However, people who hold Israeli passports are not allowed to enter the UAE.
At Swift, our team has documentation from travelers with US passports who say that they were harassed by customs officers in the UAE for having an Israeli stamp in their passport. They were ultimately allowed to enter the country, but the experience of going through customs was uncomfortable and upsetting. We also have documentation from other travelers who told us that their Israeli passport stamp was ignored — if their customs officers saw the stamps, they did not mention them or act in an inappropriate manner.
In other words, you should be able to legally enter the UAE with Israeli stamps in your passport, and you may not run into any problems, but you should be aware that you may face some harassment or discrimination upon arrival in the United Arab Emirates.
If you’re worried about facing confrontations in the UAE, you can also be issued a second valid US passport. Simply take your new passport to the UAE and use your old one for any travel to Israel, and you can avoid all stamp troubles. You can learn more about obtaining a second valid passport here or you can give us a call at (877) 917-9438 to start the process.
For the latest answers to these difficult questions, SPS encourages you to review the online resources mentioned below:
UAE Consulate: this is the site for the Embassy of the United Arab Emirates located in Washington D.C. which further explains regulations and services.
UAE Consulate FAQs: read through a comprehensive list of commonly asked questions and answers related to Americans traveling to the United Arab Emirates.
US Department of State UAE Entry/Exit Requirements: view the requirements set in place for exiting and entering the United Arab Emirates.
Wiki Travel UAE Profile: learn more about the United Arab Emirates before your upcoming trip.
IATA Travel Manuel: read the latest information from the Abu Dhabi International Airport regarding air travel requirements.
Rob Lee is co-founder of Swift Passport and Visa Services. Originally from Michigan, Rob is an avid fisherman and SCUBA diver who enjoys adventure travel.