Israeli restaurant TLV shuts down in Dubai one year after opening

The F&B outlet faced backlash on social media prior to its launch in 2021

Lubna Hamdan 1 Min Read

Israeli restaurant TLV in Dubai has shut down after just one year in operation, a representative told Frankly.

TLV, which is owned by Israeli businessman Gil Gurevich,opened at the H Hotel in mid-2021, and closed down in July 2022.

“There is a reason he [the owner] didn’t want to continue,” a representative told Frankly. They did not elaborate further.

In 2020, the Emirates signed the Abraham Accords, a series of diplomatic normalisation agreements between the UAE and Israel. The agreements are in line with the UAE’s strategy to promote tolerance and co-existence among all nationalities and religions.

However, leading up to TLV’s launch, the restaurant faced backlash on social media, with commentators accusing it of branding traditional Palestinian food items, such as hummus and falafel, as Israeli. It led the restaurant to disable its comments section on Instagram.

TLV’s launch came at a time of heightened tensions between Palestinians and Israelis in Gaza and the West Bank.

This year, a Tel Aviv art gallery called TLV Fine Art also shut down in Dubai Marina. The reason behind the closure is unclear.

Despite the UAE’s political diplomatic relations with Israel, the 2022 Arab Youth Survey found that 88% of respondents perceive Israel negatively.

The survey is commissioned by ASDA’A-BSW, a Dubai branch of the world’s largest PR company WPP. It interviewed 3,400 people aged 18 to 24 across 17 countries in the Middle East and North Africa region.