January 20, 2021

Dubai Romance with Israel Began at Kosherfest

Baltimore…. Writing in Kashrus Kurrents, the publication of the Star-K Certification, Margie Prensak details how Dubai quickly became such a charm destination for kosher travelers. Elli Kriel, the owner of Elli’s Kosher Kitchen in Dubai recalls: “In 2018, I had met Joel Weinberger, who is one of the business developers at Star-k…He travels through Dubai on his way to Pakistan and India. When he came across my service, he was very supportive and helpful. On one occasion he said, “You’ve got a great story. Let me help you get more customers. I will sponsor a stand for you at Kosherfest, the largest kosher food festival in the US. “Elli was the only exhibitor representing a Middle Eastern Arab country. She served Emirati date cakes and coffee and gave away spices. A real highlight of the event was a visit from the UAE’s Consul General to the US, H.E. Abdallah Shaheen. He came to the booth and they spoke over a cup of Emirati coffee. Elli’s visit at Kosherfest was featured in an article which UAE Ambassador to the US, Yousef Al Otaiba, sent to the Israeli media, communicating very directly with Prime Minister Netanyahu and the Israeli public “In the UAE, we even have a kosher caterer!” he wrote.  And the rest is history as the Abraham Accords were signed between the UAE and Israel with Dubai has becoming a leading kosher tourist destination.