Shalom Salaam: Dubai & Israel
Prices: US $7,995 per person; $1,460 Single Supplement
This journey takes place in a stunning setting that evokes questions we never imagined we would ask in our lifetime. What internal changes needed to take place to turn a previously hostile nation into a warm and welcoming environment where Jews and Israelis now flourish? During our time in Dubai and Abu Dhabi, we will learn how the impact of the Abraham Accords has changed local thought processes while meeting with Jewish community leaders and entrepreneurs who are forming new partnerships. Transitioning to Israel, we will visit Arab-Israeli towns to learn about their growth and challenges post-Abraham Accords and meet with Israelis – both Jewish and Arab – who work together to overcome bias and stereotypes. Along the way, we will hear from various experts and students regarding current perceptions of the Abraham Accords in Israel's majority and marginal communities, and learn how new ventures in business, art, music, and cultural endeavors are slowly moving the needle.
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January 8-16, 2024
(Itinerary subject to change)
- Meals: All breakfasts, 6 lunches and 6 dinners
- Flight: From Dubai to Tel Aviv
- Accommodations: 4 nights in Dubai, 2 nights in Tel Aviv, and 2 nights in Jerusalem
- All educational programming
- Tips & entrance fees
Day 1 – Monday - Welcome to The United Arab Emirates (UAE)
- Check into your hotel
- Dinner at leisure
- For those arriving early, it is a short walk downtown to ‘IMAGINE’ – a show harnessing the power of light and water, offering a unique sensory experience with 30-fountains and surround sound – all in front of the iconic Burj Khalifa.
Overnight: Dubai Vida Hotel, Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Blvd., Dubai (Tel: +971 4-428-6888)
Day 2 – Tuesday - Framing the Visit
- Breakfast at the hotel
- Crossroads to The Civilization Museum - Visit a museum dedicated to the importance of universal values, such as tolerance and respect. Visit the first-ever Holocaust exhibit in the Arab world hosted by Ahmed Obaid Al Mansoori, the museum's founder, and a former member of the UAE Federal National Council.
- Take an abra – a traditional boat – to cross the Creek towards the Spice Market where we will discover new flavors as we follow a recipe of an Emirati Chef and learn about the traditional use of aromas to fend off anything from stress to insomnia. Next, we will visit the Gold Souk, where we will meet with a goldsmith whose trade has been passed down from generation to generation.
- Sheik Muhammad Center for Cultural Understanding – We will have lunch at the Muhammad Center for Cultural Understanding, joined by a local Emirati for an open dialogue and question and answer session.
- The Frame - Rising 150 meters (about 492.13 ft) from Dubai’s Zabeel Park, is the “World’s Largest Picture Frame”, offering up panoramic views of the skyline while framing views of iconic buildings such as the Burj Khalifa.
- Return to the hotel to refresh for dinner
- Dinner at Armani Kaf located on the ground floor of the award-winning Armani Hotel
Overnight: Dubai Vida Hotel
Day 3: Wednesday - Being Jewish in the UAE
- Breakfast at the hotel
- Visit Mini Miracles, hosted by Rabbi Duchman and Abraham Miracles Center of Learning (AMCL) - Meet with Jewish Agency Emissaries and current JDC Entwine Intern.
- Meet with Rabbi Abadie - Senior rabbi of the Jewish Council of the Emirates in the United Arab Emirates.
- Lunch at Kosher Arabia - Proof that new alliances, partnerships, and innovation are alive and well in 2024.
- Meet with Gulf leaders, entrepreneurs, and artists committed to opening doors and ushering in a new era of cooperation and friendship furthering the goals of the Abraham Accords between Israel, the UAE and Bahrain.
- Cocktails with Ellie Kriel from Kosherati – Meet with the founder of Elli's Kosher Kitchen to learn about the burgeoning emergence of kosher options in the UAE.
- Dinner at leisure
Overnight: Dubai Vida Hotel
Day 4: Thursday - Visit Abu Dhabi
- Breakfast at the hotel
- Depart for Abu Dhabi
- Private tour of the iconic Musee Louvre - This is the first universal museum in the Arab world that expresses the spirit of openness towards all cultures.
- Free for lunch on the Corniche, the famous boardwalk and beach
- Abrahamic Family House - A collection of three religious spaces: a mosque, a synagogue, and a church, all of which will be in a secular visitor pavilion. The house will serve as a community for inter-religious dialogue and exchange, nurturing the values of peaceful co-existence and acceptance among different beliefs, nationalities, and cultures.
- The Grand Mosque - Sheikh Zayed Mosque has minarets over 100 meters tall with 82 domes of white marble; it is awe-inspiring, to say the least.
- Enjoy a group dinner in Abu Dhabi
- Return to Dubai
Overnight: Dubai Vida Hotel
Day 5: Friday – Changing Perspectives
- Breakfast at the hotel
- Check out and departure transfer to Dubai International Airport for a 1:10 PM flight
- VIP Arrival at Ben Gurion Airport - You will be greeted at the airport and transferred to the hotel for check in.
- Kabbalat Shabbat
- Shabbat dinner and discussion at the hotel
Overnight: Tel Aviv Royal Beach, 19 HaYarkon Street, Tel Aviv (Tel: +972 3-740-5000)
Day 6: Saturday – Shabbat Shalom Salaam
- Shul hopping in Kerem HaTeimanim - A central Tel Aviv Neighborhood, Kerem HaTeimanim means "Vineyards of the Yemenites". Yemenite pioneers built this neighborhood and many of their descendants still live here today. The neighborhood underwent refurbishment in the 1990s and today is popular for both religious and secular residents. There are diverse types of architectural styles displayed in the neighborhood from British colonial style to Bauhaus and even modern-day designs.
- Shabbat Around the Jewish World - Enjoy the variety of classic ethnic foods that are part of the Shabbat day meal. These dishes are cooked by families who are eager to share their heritage and flavors with us.
- Tour of Jaffa - Jaffa is one of the most ancient port cities in Israel and the Mediterranean basin. Today Jaffa is a mixed city, where Jews, Muslims and Christians live alongside each other. Tel Aviv, which borders Jaffa to the north, was established centuries later, in the year 1909. While these two cities were united into one municipality in 1949, they have each kept their own unique feel and atmosphere. Parts of Jaffa have been gentrified in recent years with the old narrow streets and courtyards becoming a highly popular part of Tel Aviv’s urban tapestry.
- Conversation with Dan Feferman - Dan Feferman is the Executive Director of Sharaka, an NGO that works to build people-to-people peace between Israel and the Arab world. Dan is also a founding member of the UAE-Israel Business Council, and co-founder and chair of the Gulf-Israel Policy Forum.
- Havdalah followed by dinner on your own
Overnight: Tel Aviv Royal Beach
Day 7: Sunday - Is There an Arab-Israeli Abrahamic Vision?
- Breakfast at the hotel - Check out of the hotel
- Peres Center for Peace and Innovation - The Peres Center for Peace and Innovation serves as a physical hub of the Start-Up Nation in Jaffa. Founded by former Israeli Prime Minister and President Shimon Peres in 1996, the center uniquely highlights Israeli innovation and history. It is composed of two key elements: its physical campus which features Israeli innovation of the past, present, and future and a series of off-campus programming initiatives meant to build bridges through innovation in the region.
- Meet the people of Jaljuliya - The Sharon area is a mix of Jewish and Arab cities. We share public spaces, malls, supermarkets, and parks, but we do not often socialize with our Arab neighbors. During our visit to Jaljuliya, we will visit the central Mosque to learn about the community. Our guide, Raid, is a leader in the community and has spent his life in Jaljuliya. The tour is offered in partnership with the social business "Shared Paths" which specializes in social tourism as an innovative way of creating social change and supporting local small businesses.
- Conversation with Mohammad Darawshe - Mohammad Darawshe is considered a leading political analyst and expert on Jewish-Arab relations inside Israel. He is the Director of the Center for Shared Society at Givat Haviva.
- Home hospitality lunch in Jaljuliya
- Kfar HaYarok - Meet students at the Eastern Mediterranean International School - With educational programs, extracurriculars, classes, workshops, trips, and a student body with 40% of its students from Middle Eastern countries, and 60% from other international locations, EMIS’s mission drives students to make change, create dialogue, and connect with each other.
- Group dinner
Overnight: The Orient Hotel, Emek Refaim 3, Jerusalem (Tel: +972 2-569-9090)
Day 8: Monday – Jerusalem: Sharing the Holy City
- Breakfast at the hotel
- Drive to Jerusalem
- Tour Jerusalem’s Old City and meet the people and places that make this place so unique. In the Jewish Quarter, uncover the layers of Jewish history from the time of the First Temple until the present day. Conditions permitting, we will visit the Temple Mount, holy to both Muslims and Jews. Along the way we will also consider the unique challenges of Christians in Israel. Throughout the tour, explore the complexity of a city that is holy to the three major religions - Judaism, Christianity, and Islam.
- Lunch in the Old City
- Meet with members of the Interreligious Coordinating Council in Israel (ICCI) was founded in 1991 to further understanding and communication between members of different faith communities and to build foundations for lasting fellowship. ICCI works with young people, women, and religious leaders to promote Jewish-Muslim-Christian coexistence and peacebuilding projects.
- Dinner at O2 Restaurant – Enjoy upbeat Jerusalem cuisine that derives its inspiration from the markets and culinary history of the holy city.
Overnight: The Orient Hotel
Day 9: Tuesday – A Mixed Neighborhood
- Breakfast at the hotel
- Meeting at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs to discuss if what ways Israel's relationships with bordering countries affect the Abraham Agreement?
- Meet Ksenia Svetlova, Director of Israel-Middle East program at Mitvim - The Israeli Institute for Regional Foreign Policies.
- Lunch and Arabic lesson at Hamiffal - Hamiffal, "The Factory" is an art community that turned an abandoned 19th century building in the heart of Jerusalem into a shared platform for art and culture. At Hamiffal Jewish Israelis learn Arabic, a trend that has grown throughout Israel.
- Meet the Young Leaders of ROPES - The Regional Organization for Peace, Economics & Security (ROPES) aims to revive momentum toward a historic Israeli-Palestinian peace accord by rallying a powerful regional coalition of rising stars in business, culture, and politics behind a 2030 vision of a new Middle East.
- Final dinner at Luiza in the Garden – For our farewell dinner, we will enjoy unique Israeli cuisine in Abu Ghosh in a garden full of local herbs and ancient olive trees. A passion for gastronomy and a joy of hosting are brought together here in the art of Slow Food, based on protecting the environment, moral consumption, and local organic produce.
- Transfer to the airport for those flying
Extensions can be arranged for those staying in Jerusalem.
This educational tour will be led by Avi Ben Hur. Melton travel is open to adults of all ages.
We are so pleased that you are interested in travelling with Melton! As you may know, Melton provides the educational content for its tours, but is not a travel agency. VIA SABRA is the travel logistics provider for this tour and is responsible for the collection of all deposits and other fees. Because Melton does not collect any travel deposits or fees, it is not responsible for any financial loss associated with a cancellation of this tour for reasons beyond Melton’s control, including COVID.
We encourage you to read Via Sabra’s Terms and Conditions thoroughly, advising that you purchase comprehensive travel insurance that covers both “cancellation for any reason” and for “COVID-related” reasons. Even where your destination does not presently restrict travel due to COVID, we still recommend you purchase a policy with such coverage.
Thank you for your understanding. We look forward to travelling and learning with you,
The Melton Travel Team
Need to Know
- Melton has offered quality educational travel opportunities for over 25 years, but it is not a travel agency and does not handle any payments made towards the tour. We have contracted this tour to Via Sabra and it is essential that you read their Terms and Conditions prior to your actual registration.
- Melton is not responsible for cancellation of this program for reasons beyond its control and your travel insurance should cover both "cancellation for any reason" and "COVID-related cancellation". This latter policy is being offered by a number of insurance companies (see Insurance, Health & Safety, on this page).
Please refer to the Cancellation policy that appears in the Terms and Conditions of the Registration process with Via Sabra.
- Group rates are per person based on double occupancy and a minimum of 15 fully paying participants per bus. Should the number of participants drop below the minimum listed above, we will adjust the cost of the trip to reflect the additional expense of operating the program.
- Tour prices are per person in U.S. dollars. All hotel accommodations, motor coach transportation, special dinners, sightseeing, admissions, luggage handling and the services of local guides, drivers, and the tour guide/educator are included.
- Hotel Accommodations: The tour price includes all hotel accommodations, in hotel rooms with private baths. Our standard is to provide the best available hotels while considering value. Although the level of the accommodations may differ slightly from hotel to hotel, we are committed to your comfort. Two-bed rooms are reserved in most hotels. Triples are two-bed rooms with a rollaway cot where available and are not recommended when considering the comfort of those in the room. King-size beds are not available in most hotels; what is considered king-size usually consists of two single beds pushed together and made up separately, but with one headboard. Some two-bed rooms may have two twin - not full- or queen-size - beds.
- Meals are included as specified in the itinerary. In travel beyond Israel, not all communal meals are kosher certified, but fish- and vegetarian options will always be available and kashrut and other dietary requirements of group members will be taken into account. Participants can order additional kosher meals at prices set by our local agents.
- All tours are led by a Melton educator who remains with the group throughout the tour.
- Gratuities: All gratuities for the educators, guides, drivers, and restaurant staff are included.
- Baggage: The Travel Agent and/or Tour Operator shall not be held responsible for any damage to, or loss of, luggage/personal items. All damage/loss must be reported at time of the incident and documented in writing by local authorities for submission to the insurance company. With regard to airline baggage allowance, different carriers have different regulations for business and coach. Please check with your individual carrier with regard to permitted number of pieces, weights and dimensions. The tour operator is not responsible for fees levied by any air carrier for the transport of personal belongings of any kind.
- Airline Security Measures: In the U.S., you must provide identification in the form of a passport at the time of airport check-in for travel to international destinations. Your passport name must match the name on your tour reservation and airline ticket, or you may be denied boarding.
- If you are traveling from an airport outside the jurisdiction of the U.S, you will need to determine what travel documentation and identification is required for that airport.
- Due to heightened security regulations, certain items such as a metal nail file, pocketknife, cigarette lighter or tweezers, and some liquid, gel, or aerosol items may not be permitted in your carry-on luggage. Please call your airline prior to departure to obtain current information on non-permissible carry-on items and recommended airport check-in times. You may also wish to visit the Transportation Security Administration website to obtain more information on acceptable identity documentation and prohibited luggage items.
- Holidays and Museum Closures - Museum visits and personal shopping time may be disrupted due to unforeseen circumstances or religious, state and local holidays observed in the destinations being visited.
- Photography During Tours: We will occasionally use photographs taken by fellow guests or your trip director for promotional purposes. If you prefer that your photo not be used in any marketing activities, please notify us at the start of your tour.
- Round trip international flights to and from the US, personal and health insurance.
- Transfers from / to the airport unless as part of an organized group travelling together.
- Personal Expenses, including meals not mentioned above or drinks during meals, unless specified above; or room service.
Melton Travel recommends Forbes Advisor for the most up-to-date travel insurance comparisons. Consider travel protection for:
- Trip Cancellation
- Trip Interruption
- Emergency Medical Expenses
- Emergency Evacuation/Repatriation of Remains
- Trip Delay
- Baggage & Personal Effects
- Baggage Delay
Please Note: To be eligible for the waiver of pre-existing medical condition exclusion, the protection plan must be purchased within 21 days from the time you make your initial trip deposit, the entire non-refundable amount of the trip must be insured, and you must be medically able to travel at the time the premium is paid. However, the travel protection plan itself can be purchased any time prior to departure.
- Airline Security Measures: Your name must match the name on your tour reservation and airline ticket, or you may be denied boarding. If you are traveling from an airport outside the jurisdiction of the U.S., you will need to determine what travel documentation and identification are required for that particular airport.
- Due to heightened security regulations, certain items such as a metal nail file, pocketknife, cigarette lighter or tweezers, and some liquid, gel, or aerosol items may not be permitted in your carry-on luggage. Please call your airline prior to departure to obtain current information on non-permissible carry-on items and recommended airport check-in times. You may also wish to visit the Transportation Security Administration website at www.tsa.gov to obtain more information on acceptable identity documentation and prohibited luggage items.
- Holidays and Museum Closures - Museum visits and personal shopping time may be disrupted due to unforeseen circumstances or state and local holidays observed in the destinations being visited.
- Photography During Tours: We will occasionally use photographs taken by fellow guests or your trip director for promotional purposes. If you prefer your photo not used in any marketing activities, please notify us at the start of your tour.
For more information, please email
T: 1–646–921–0747, Ext. 4