According to the Henley Passport Index 2018, UAE passport holders now can make a visa free travel to 161 countries. This made UAE passport the 21st most powerful passport in the world. Last year it was at 38th position in the index. Henley Passport Index, an annual ranking which lists the world’s passports according to how many countries their holders can gain visa-free access to.
This year, UAE citizens have gained visa-free access to several new countries including Ireland, Canada and China and overall it has secured more new visa waivers this year than any other country. It has risen from 62nd place in 2006.
Most recently, and strengthening its position as the passport-power champion of the Middle East, the UAE signed a visa-waiver with Russia in July, which is due to come into effect in the coming months.
Commenting on the UAE’s latest visa-waiver agreement, Ryan Cummings, director of Signal risk, said that it is aimed at “strengthening bilateral relations between the UAE and another global superpower”, and following the visa-waiver signed with China earlier this year. Specifically, this latest agreement with Russia will help the UAE “lower its dependence on its hydrocarbon sector and continue its robust economic growth trajectory” by stimulating tourism and trade.
Japan has become the most powerful passport in the world with visa free access in 190 countries. Singapore has become the second most powerful passport. The citizens of Japan and Singapore can have visa free or on arrival visa facility in these countries.
In third place are Germany, South Korea and France, and the UK and the US slid from fourth to fifth place, granting their citizens easy access to 186 destinations. In 2015, the US and the UK were top of the list.
China and the UAE made big progress, with both states among the highest overall climbers compared to 2017, purely as a result of the strong relationships they have built with partner countries around the world. Asia now has the top spots in the index.
Pakistan ranks among the countries which have weakest passports as it only enjoy visa free travel to nearly two dozen countries. Pakistan lies in the bottom of this index. The Pakistani passport has been ranked as the fourth worst in the world for international travel.
Since the past two years, Pakistan has been constant with their spot of being on the second worst country in the world but has improved their position to fourth this year.Pakistan only ranks better than three war-torn countries—Syria (103), Iraq (104) and Afghanistan (105). Pakistan has visa free travel access to 30 countries.
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17 November, 2019