According to a new ranking, the United Arab Emirates now has the world’s most powerful passport, with its citizens being able to travel to the most countries without the need to obtain a visa.
With four more countries being added to the Middle Eastern state’s visa free destinations from Dec 1st 2018, Passport Index said that the UAE now holds top spot, beating last year’s number one – the Singaporean passport which is now at a joint second with Germany.
Passport Index, which bases its rankings on the cross border access a passport holder has, reported that the U.S. passport has moved up 3 places since last year and sits third, with the UK passport at fourth position.
The UAE passport being proclaimed the most powerful in the world comes as UAE citizens can now enter 167 countries without needing to apply for a visa in advance, 113 completely visa-free and 54 requiring visas upon arrival. The news came as the UAE celebrated a 4 day long weekend for National Day.
In December 2016, the United Arab Emirates had been ranked 27th, which means that the country has made a significant leap since as it didn’t even feature in last year’s top 10.
في يومنا الوطني المجيد .. توالت إنجازاتنا .. قبل قليل صنف مؤشر passport index جواز الامارات ليكون الأول عالميا بدخوله ١٦٧ دولة حول العالم بدون تأشيرة .. العالم يفتح أبوابه لشعب الامارات.. الف مبروك للامارات.. وكل الشكر لفريق وزارة خارجيتنا الاستثنائي بقيادة أخي عبدالله بن زايد .— HH Sheikh Mohammed (@HHShkMohd) 1 décembre 2018
Elated at the news, Dubai’s leader, Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, took to Twitter and said, “Congratulations to the UAE and its people and big thanks to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation’s teams.”
Following 2nd place Singaporean and German passports, which offer visa free or visa upon arrival to 166 countries, eleven countries tied at 3rd place with their citizens being able to access 165 countries sans visa, and these are, the U.S, Denmark, Sweden, Finland, Luxembourg, France, Italy, Netherlands, Spain, Norway and South Korea. The UK tied in fourth position with Belgium, Austria, Japan, Greece, Portugal, Switzerland, Ireland and Canada with visa free access to 164 destinations. In fifth place of the top five are the Czech Republic and Hungarian passports, offering visa-free travel to 163 countries.