The value of the Emirati nationality has risen significantly over the past year, according to a new study.
Henley & Partners-Kochenov Quality of Nationality Index (QNI) is the first global index to rank the quality of nationalities and revealed a major leap up the list by the UAE.
Among the 195 nationalities listed in the index, the UAE occupies 49th place, the best-ranked Gulf country ahead of Kuwait (72nd), Saudi Arabia (82nd), Oman (83rd), and Bahrain (84th).
The UAE jumped by 13 spots compared to the inaugural 2016 list, scoring 44.5 percent out of 100 percent while Saudi Arabia fell 14 places.
Henley & Partners, the global leader in residence and citizenship planning, said Germany’s quality of nationality is ranked first in the world with a score of 82.7 percent. The global mean of the index this year was 39.32 percent, with Afghanistan sitting at the bottom of the index with a score of 14.6 percent.
Following closely behind Germany are France and Denmark who share second place on the index, ahead of Iceland. The UK was placed 12th with a score of 79.2 percent while the US ranked 29th.
Prof Dr Dimitry Kochenov, co-author of the QNI, said: “The key premise of the index is that it’s possible to compare the relative worth of nationalities, as opposed to, simply, states. Importantly, there is no direct correlation between the power of the state and the quality of its nationality.”
The QNI measures both the internal value of nationality — the quality of life and opportunities for personal growth within a nationality’s country of origin — and the external value of nationality — which identifies the diversity and quality of opportunities that nationalities allow us to pursue outside our country of origin.
The average value of GCC nationalities improved from 35.05 percent last year to 37.02 percent, substantially higher than the Middle Eastern average (27.20 percent).
The report said the UAE nationality has performed remarkably in the last 12 months because of the EU’s recent exemption of UAE nationals from a Schengen visa, granting visa-free access to the zone.
In addition to the 26 travel destinations of the Schengen Area, UAE nationals are also given visa-free access to eight non-Schengen countries in Europe.
Bata Racic, manager of Henley & Partners in the Middle East, said: “The upward trajectory in the ranking of UAE nationality is a reflection of the nation’s strong and growing diplomatic ties with the EU and other countries. The UAE’s sustained efforts in this area have proved instrumental in elevating the quality of its nationals while providing them with a host of valuable benefits such as the possibility to travel freely.
"Emiratis can now travel to an additional 34 countries for business or tourist purposes and stay there for up to 90 days in any 180-day period in one year. This advantage of increased mobility is of great significance both in qualitative and quantitative terms."
Globally, the quality of nationalities went up by 0.75 percent this year, with 140 nationalities increasing in value.
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