ABU DHABI: Israel´s top diplomat Yair Lapid arrived in the United Arab Emirates on Tuesday on the first ever official visit by an Israeli minister, after the two nations normalised ties in September. Lapid landed at Abu Dhabi airport shortly after tweeting a picture of himself in a plane, with the caption: “Taking off for a historic visit to the UAE.” Israeli ministers have previously visited the United Arab Emirates, but newly appointed Lapid is the most senior Israeli to make the trip, and the first to travel on an official mission. The head of mission at the Jewish state´s embassy to the UAE tweeted “30 years as a diplomat, but to see the blue and white (Israeli colours) here at the Abu Dhabi airport, whilst waiting for the minister of foreign affairs to land — is exciting!” Since their US-brokered normalisation agreement was announced in August last year, Israel and the UAE have signed a raft of deals ranging from tourism to aviation and financial services. During his visit, Lapid will inaugurate the Israeli embassy in Abu Dhabi as well as a consulate in Dubai. “The Israeli delegation will land late morning at Abu Dhabi, and will be received by the minister of economic affairs at the foreign ministry,” Israel´s foreign ministry said in a statement. Lapid´s trip comes nearly a year after the nations moved to normalise ties, and follows a string of visits by Israeli officials that were planned then cancelled over issues including the Covid pandemic and diplomatic scuffles. In March, a planned official visit by Israel´s then-prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu was cancelled due to a “dispute” with Jordan over the use of its airspace, according to Israeli officials.