The Jewish community in the United Arab Emirates hosted a historic visit this weekend by Israel’s Chief Sephardi Rabbi Yitzhak Yosef.

After arriving in the UAE on Thursday, Yosef met with Emirati officials, inaugurated a newly built Jewish school in Dubai and took part in a ceremony along with the community’s rabbi.

Yosef was also scheduled to cut the ribbon on the community’s new day-care center, visit the new kosher restaurant in the city’s famed Burj Khalifa skyscraper and inaugurate a new synagogue in the Emirati capital of Abu Dhabi.

Rabbi Levi Duchman of the Chabad Jewish Community Center in Dubai called Yosef’s visit “historic” and said it was a great honor for the community to host him on his visit.

“We are happy to welcome him as we break barriers and inaugurate some of our new institutions,” said Duchman.

Daniel Seal, a trustee of the Beit Tefillah Synagogue in Dubai, said, “This historic visit expresses the historic achievements of the last few months. With thanks to the crown prince, his honor Sheikh Mohammad Bin Zayed, we can celebrate a new era of cooperation in the region. We promise that Jews who come to visit or work in Dubai, Abu Dhabi and throughout the Emirates will have access to Jewish institutions and services.”

This article first appeared in Israel Hayom.

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