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The first commercial flight from Israel landed in Abu Dhabi yesterday as a senior US and Israeli officials finalised a historic pact between the UAE and Israel.

The historic deal between Israel and the UAE was announced on August 13 and is the first of its kind between an Arab country and Israel for over 20 years. And the flight was also the first from Israel to fly over Saudi airspace.

And the US and Israeli delegations were keen for this to be the start of future negotiations between the countries.

As-salamu alaykum

The Head of Israel’s National Security Council, Meir Ben-Shabbat, was one of the first to get into the cross-country spirit when he read out a statement shortly after landing.

Bin-Shabbat started his statement with the Islamic greeting “As-salamu alaykum,” which means “Peace be upon you.”

And Lior Haiat, Spokesperson for Israel Ministry of Foreign Affairs, praised the UAE’s steps in making the normalisation happen.

“The important decision to abolish the boycott on Israel and Israeli companies is an important step towards normalisation. The UAE President [Sheikh] Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, took a historic decision that shows real leadership.”

Neom, city of the future?

Staying in the Middle East, Saudi Arabia’s incredible $500 billion megacity Neom is one step closer to being a reality with detailed plans drawn up for the Red Sea City.

Although when we say reality, it really isn’t like anything the world has ever seen before.

The new plans include an artificial moon, cloud seeding, robotic gladiators and flying taxis. And the fully-automated city will aim to lead the world when it comes to healthcare, education and quality of life.

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