Who is Mohamed Al Khaja, the UAE's first ambassador to Israel?

The experienced diplomat was sworn in this week by Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid, Vice President and Ruler of Dubai

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The UAE appointed its first ambassador to Israel this week as the two nations continue to strengthen ties.

Mohamed Al Khaja was sworn in by Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid, Vice President and Ruler of Dubai, at a ceremony at Al Watan Palace in Abu Dhabi on Sunday.

The Dubai Ruler wished him success in his new role and called on him to cement a culture of peace, co-existence and tolerance between the countries.

It is a significant step in the career of Mr Al Khaja, as the UAE seeks to build on the firm foundations laid down through the signing of the landmark Abraham Accord last September.

Mr Al Khaja, 40, has accumulated a wealth of career experience both in the field of diplomacy and in the business world.

Mohammed Al Khaja. Courtesy MOFA
Mohamed Al Khaja is the UAE's first ambassador to Israel. Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Co-operation

He travelled the world in order to complete his education before returning to the Emirates.

The father-of-four, born in Abu Dhabi, holds a degree in Political Science from Northeastern University in Boston and secured an MBA in Energy Management from Vienna University of Economics and Business.

He was appointed chief of staff to the Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Co-operation in 2010.

Within the ministry, he has held a number of key positions such as being a member of the political affairs council and the diplomatic committee as well as serving as chairman of the budget committee.

A varied career path has taken in roles in energy management, disarmament and international security, production and procurement management and research and business development for the likes of International Petroleum Investment Company, Borouge Pte-Ltd Singapore and Emirates Centre for Strategic Studies and Research.

He is equally active outside of office hours, enjoying motocross, cycling and water skiing as well as running and football.

Much of his time will now be spent on his important diplomatic mission.

Since the UAE formally established links with Israel, much work has been done to bolster a flourishing friendship.

Last month, the UAE Cabinet approved the opening of an embassy in Tel Aviv.

Israel's Foreign Ministry previously said it opened an embassy in Abu Dhabi with the arrival of the country's envoy, Eitan Naeh.

The location is temporary until a permanent premises is found.

Mr Naeh previously served as an envoy to Turkey until he was expelled by Ankara in 2018, when relations between the two countries deteriorated.

A consulate is also expected to open in Dubai.

UAE strengthens ties with Israel: