UAE citizens get visa-free access to 183 countries, passport grows stronger in 2024

The Emirates was also the biggest climber on the Index over the past decade, adding an impressive 106 destinations to its visa-on-arrival list since 2014

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Waheed Abbas

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Image used for illustrative purpose. KT Photo: Muhammad Sajjad
Image used for illustrative purpose. KT Photo: Muhammad Sajjad

Published: Thu 11 Jan 2024, 10:18 AM

Last updated: Thu 11 Jan 2024, 3:31 PM

The UAE passport has grown stronger in the past year, rising by two positions to 11th, giving visa-free access to 183 countries, according to Henley & Partner’s 2024 Passport Index released on Wednesday.

The UAE also remained the biggest climber on the Index over the past decade, adding an impressive 106 destinations to its visa-free score since 2014, resulting in a massive leap of 44 places in the ranking from 55th to 11th position.

The UAE passport also maintained its top position in the region, followed by Qatar (53), Kuwait (55), Bahrain (59), Oman (60) and Saudi Arabia (61).

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UAE passport journey in the past 10 years:

YEARRANKING
2014 55
201542
201638
201738
201821
201915
202018
202116
202215
202313
202411

Source: Henley & Partners

Passport holders of Qatar, Kuwait, Bahrain, Oman and Saudi Arabia have visa-free access to 108, 102, 91, 90 and 89 countries, respectively.

Afghanistan (104), Syria (103), Iraq (102), Pakistan (101) and Yemen (100) ranked at the bottom of the Henley & Partner’s 2024 Passport Index.

Bangladesh was ranked 97th, rising one position, while India’s passport was ranked 80, rising by three positions.

The index is based on exclusive and official data from the International Air Transport Association (Iata).

Globally, four European countries — France, Germany, Italy, and Spain — joined Japan and Singapore in boasting the most powerful passports in the world, with their citizens able to visit an astonishing 194 destinations out of 227 around the globe visa-free.

The two Asian nations have dominated 1st place on the index (which ranks all the world’s passports according to the number of destinations their holders can access without a prior visa) for the past five years.

Dr. Christian H. Kaelin, chairman of Henley & Partners, said the global mobility gap between those at the top and bottom of the index is now wider than ever.

“The average number of destinations travellers are able to access visa-free has nearly doubled from 58 in 2006 to 111 in 2024. However, as we enter the new year, the top-ranked countries are now able to travel to a staggering 166 more destinations visa-free than Afghanistan, which sits at the bottom of the ranking with access to just 28 countries without a visa,” said Kaelin.

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