Transportation Minister Miri Regev stated that she did not like Dubai during her visit and that she would not go back to the city in the United Arab Emirates.
“I’ve been to Dubai. I won’t be going back. I don’t like the place,” Regev said in a speech today (Wednesday. However, she added that "it's amazing to see the roads they have built in six years."
She claimed that the kind of construction she saw in the UAE is not possible in Israel. "We are not able to build wide roads, with several lanes, including highways and bicycle paths." According to her, this inability to build wide highways and roads is the result of narrow-mindedness and costs Israel greatly as a country.
Regev visited Dubai in 2018, two years before the UAE signed the Abraham Accords normalizing relations with Israel. Last month, Globes reported that Regev has been demanding the construction of five and six lane highways in Israel similar to those constructed in the UAE.
Foreign Minister Eli Cohen attempted to diffuse any diplomatic tension which could arise from Regev's comments about Dubai, stating that he "loves Dubai."
“Dubai is a wonderful place to visit, and it’s no coincidence that more than 1 million Israelis have chosen to visit Dubai as well.” Cohen wrote on Twitter.
He added: ''In the last two years I have visited Dubai 4 times, it is a wonderful place to visit. Our relationship with Dubai and the United Arab Emirates is a strategic relationship and we will work to strengthen it."