Why travellers from the UAE are going places

Emiratis can visit 176 countries around the world either visa-free or on a visa-on-arrival basis

By Team KT

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Published: Wed 27 Jul 2022, 5:36 PM

Last week, the latest Henley Passport Index findings made it very clear that the UAE is going from strength to strength on the international roadmap. Today, the UAE ranks at No 15, and is the only Arab country in the Top 20.

In 10 years, from a ranking of No 64 (in 2012), it has moved to No 15 in 2022 — that is a staggering 49 places up the ladder. An easier interpretation of this is that Emiratis can visit 176 countries around the world, either visa-free or on a visa-on-arrival basis. But the good news goes beyond that. In a country where the vast majority happen to be expatriates, it has made the travel format easy for them as well.

UAE expats with a residency visa are facing a flurry of travel bonuses with many countries in Europe and elsewhere are giving them a chance for visa-free travel, or visa-on-arrival travel — something that many of them wouldn’t have been able to avail of back in their home countries. They can now make use of the import that the UAE residency accords them to go places!

If we think about what has facilitated the ease of travel UAE residents, the reasons are not difficult to pin down. First of all, residents here have to thank the geo-strategic advantage that this country has.

More importantly, how it has converted a geographical niche into a vantage point by being an aviation industry leader. There’s not a place that’s not covered by the local airlines — and it’s a list of destinations that keeps getting longer.

Second, the whole world reposes an incredible amount of faith in the UAE’s Covid strategy. Almost everyone in the country is vaccinated, and the highest adherence is being followed in Covid protocol.

Third, the UAE’s financial muscle has endowed its residents with an immunity. Everyone around the world knows about the creditworthiness of the economy and realise that travellers from the UAE would be an asset to any country’s tourism sector.

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