The UAE has been heralded for its growing stature on the international stage. In just 25 odd years it has risen from being a middle sized, oil rich desert country to a global behemoth of commerce, culture and diplomacy. As of Wednesday morning, UAE nationals have yet another achievement to celebrate; the UAE Passport has officially been ranked as the most powerful passport in the world!
According to the Passport Index, a UAE passport is the most desirable passport a traveler can possess in terms of ease of access to the widest variety of countries worldwide.
UAE passport-holders can visit 113 countries destinations without a visa and 54 countries using the visa-on-arrival facility!
The UAE narrowly beat out stiff competition from both Singapore and Germany who offer visa free travel to 126 and 127 countries respectively but can only offer a visa on arrival to 39 and 40 countries.
In celebration of the momentous achievement the Burj Khalifa was illuminated with images of a UAE Passport and a large number 1! Abu Dhabi Crown Prince Shaikh Mohammed Bin Zayed Al Nahyan posted a message on social media stating, “thanks to Allah Almighty, the UAE passport has been ranked 1st globally, an achievement which reflects our right approach and future vision”.
The achievement is all the more incredible considering that the UAE was a mere 27th on the list just two years ago. Gulf News credits the meteoric rise with the UAE government’s moves towards expediting visa arrangements with other nations earlier this year.
The Passport Index claims to be the world’s most popular interactive tool that gathers and displays information about various international passports. It then takes all of this compiled data and organizes countries in the form of rankings or hierarchies.
In order to determine the individual place of each passport in the rankings they look at a country’s Visa Free Score and contrast its respective Visa Free and Visa on Arrival totals. In case of a tie they look at a country’s UNDP Human Development Index which is said to be a determining factor towards gauging a country’s perception abroad. The Passport Index also claims to be the only real time global ranking of international passports and that it updates itself as soon as new visa policies are implemented.
Other rankings on the Passport Index include India at number 68, Philippines at number 64, Pakistan at number 92 and Sri Lanka at number 85. India offers visa free travel to 25 countries, Philippines to 33 countries, Pakistan to 8 countries and Sri Lanka to 16 countries.
More information pertaining to the rankings of individual countries can be found on the Passport Index’s official website.