The UAE passport surged to the first rank in the world on the global passport index prepared by Arton Capital – the Canadian consultancy firm.
The passport allows its holder access to 152 countries. Pertinent to mention is that this count includes the 98 countries where UAE passport holders can have a visa-free entry and the 54 countries where visas are issued upon arrival or can be obtained online.
The ranking is based on visa-free travel to passport holders and freedom of movement. The strength of the passport represents not only the identity of a citizen but also an important factor affecting it is access to global opportunities, quality of life and ease of movement.
Arton, while explaining its position, said, “The positive diplomacy of the UAE played a huge role in strengthening the position of its passport.”
The UAE, despite the hefty challenges of travel due to the COVID-19 pandemic, has successfully opened its doors to commercial activities and tourism.
The Gulf country resumed operations at international airports – as the Dubai Airports reopened Terminal 1 and Concourse “D” on the 24th of last June, said Arton.
New Zealand’s passport ranked second globally, allowing its holder access to 146 states, followed by Germany, Finland, and Austria. Similarly, Luxembourg, Spain, Italy, and Switzerland followed, respectively.
The UAE passport was ranked strongest in December 2018 for the first time, when the country marked the “Year of Zayed”. Furthermore, it maintained its top ranking in 2019 – slipping to 14th in 2020. However, the passport got its glory back yet again in 2021, emerging the strongest globally.
Qatar’s passport, 47th in global power ranking, is the third strongest in the region. It must be remembered that Qatari passport holders are given visa-free entry to a total of 52 countries and an on-arrival visa in 39 countries. However, prior visas are required in 107 countries.