A global list of countries, ranked according to the visa restrictions imposed on their citizens, revealed that the number of countries Arabs do not need visas to enter is quite limited and the Gulf countries are generally languishing towards the bottom of the rankings.
Compiled by Henley and Partners (H&P), a global firm specializing in international immigration and citizenship law, and using data from the The Air Transport Association (IATA), the list looked the visa requirements of citizens from 194 countries.
The score assigned to each country reflected how many countries various nationalities could enter without a visa. For example, the top ranking Arab country was Kuwait wiith a score of 71, meaning Kuwaitis can enter 71 countries and territories without a visa.
The next highest ranking Arabic country was Bahrain with a score of 67, followed by Qatar (66), the UAE (64), Oman (61), Saudi Arabia (57), Egypt (43), Jordan (39), Syria (39), Yemen (38), Iran (34), Lebanon (32) and Ira (27).
Iraq was the second last country on the rankings, listed just above Afghanistan and below Sudan and Somalia.
The H&P report determined that the “global ranking reflects the international travel freedom of the citizens of the various countries as well as the international relations and status of individual countries relative to others.”
British citizens enjoyed the most travel freedom, being able to enter 166 countries without a visa. The rest of the top five was top heavy with Scandinavian countries, with Denmark (164) second, followed by Sweden (163), Finland (162) and then Luxembourg (162).
The list has been published since 2006 and a comparison with the 2008 shows that the number of countries Arab countries can enter visa-free has increased over the last two years by an average of around 25 percent.
HENLEY & PARTNERS VISA RESTRICTIONS INDEX: Top Arab Countries on the list:
Country Score '10 Score '09
1 Kuwait 71 56
2 Bahrain 67 53
3 Qatar 66 53
4 UAE 64 52
5 Oman 61 49
6 Saudi Arabia 57 42
7 Egypt 43 34
8 Jordan 39 30
9 Syria 39 30
10 Yemen 38 30
11 Iran 34 25
12 Lebanon 32 27
13 Iraq 27 23
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