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Thu 3 Oct 2019 12:08 PM

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UAE boasts 15th most powerful passport in the world

Latest study reveals UAE passport holders can access 172 countries without a prior visa

UAE boasts 15th most powerful passport in the world
UAE passport holders can access 172 countries without a prior visa.

The UAE passport has climbed to number 15 in the most powerful passports in the world, according to the Henley Passport Index Q4 Update.

UAE passport holders can access 172 countries without a prior visa. The passport went up five places in the past three months and has moved up 46 places in the past decade.

Lorraine Charles, UAE research associate at the University of Cambridge’s Centre for Business Research, said: “The power of the UAE passport depicts a nation that is attempting to position itself as a prominent player in the region.

“While the UAE may not be able to compete with Saudi Arabia — the regional hegemon — in terms of military strength and economic power, the projection of its soft power has become uncontested in the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC), making the UAE an embodiment of inspiration for other GCC countries.”

The UAE passport is the most powerful in the GCC, with Kuwait coming in 56th position with visa-free access to 93 destinations, Bahrain coming in 63rd position (81 locations) Oman coming in at 64th position (79) and Saudi Arabia in 69th position (74).

Japan and Singapore took the top spot with access to 190 countries. The UK and US featured in sixth position.

Syria, Iraq, and Afghanistan remain at the bottom of the ranking, with visa-free or visa-on-arrival scores of just 29, 27, and 25, respectively.

The index includes 199 passports and 227 travel destinations. Each passport is scored on the total number of destinations that the holder can access visa-free.