The Israeli Embassy in Abu Dhabi on Thursday issued the first passport to an Israeli child born in the United Arab Emirates.
The infant, Mateo David, was born on May 13, 2022, to Israeli national Daniel Talvi and her Belgian husband Mitz Bekovens, who works at the Al-Jazeera soccer club and also serves as an international player agent.
Named Mateo David, the baby was born on May 13, 2022, to Israeli national Daniel Talvi and Belgian sports agent Mitch Bakkovens who also works at topflight Emirati soccer club Al Jazira Club.
Israeli Ambassador to the UAE Amir Hayek handed the passport to the parents and said it was an “exciting moment” for him.
Talvi said the issuing of the passport marks a “historic moment in the relations between the countries” and added, “because I am a Zionist, I told my husband that I would issue the Israeli passport first, followed by the Belgian one.”
Talvi, who has been living with her husband in Abu Dhabi for the past year, told Ynet that they enjoy a good life there because “it’s a very family-friendly place, quiet and safe. The people here are very kind and respectful,” she said.
“There is a great appreciation for Israel in the United Arab Emirates,” she added. “I am treated with much respect [by Emiratis] when I say that I am Israeli. It's an honor to be here and say that [I’m Israeli].”
Although Mateo David is not the first Israeli child born in the UAE, it is the first time an Israeli passport has been issued to a baby in the Gulf state.
The first Israeli child born on Emirati soil is the daughter of Israel’s former consul general in Dubai Ilan Sztulman Starosta, who was in August last year. The baby was given a temporary transit certificate because it was not yet technically possible to issue passports at the embassy.