UAE passport 'most powerful' in Gulf region


UAE passport most powerful in Gulf region

The Passport Index releases its latest rankings of all the passports of the world.

By Web Report

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Published: Wed 6 Apr 2016, 1:56 PM

Last updated: Wed 6 Apr 2016, 6:52 PM

UAE's passport has been, yet again, ranked as the most powerful passport among the Gulf Cooperation Council countries or the Gulf region, according to the latest edition of the Passport Index - a ranking system to reveal the benefits of each passport from around the world.  
Launched by Arton Capital, the global leader in residency and citizenship solutions, the new generation of the Passport Index compares passports from 199 countries including the 193 United Nations member countries as well as the Republic of China, Kosovo, Palestine, and The Vatican.  
Passport Index positions countries based on the power of each passport, determined by Arton Capital's three-tier method which combines a ranking for 'Visa-free' travel, together with 'Visa on arrival' ratio, with the country's score as attributed by United Nations Development Programme Human Development Index to take account of the jurisdiction's international perception.
Essentially, the Index serves to understand and visualize the power of each passport on the holder's identity, opportunity, mobility and overall quality of life.
The 2016 version of the Index allows users to explore a list of visa-free countries for each passport, or visa on arrival.  
Germany ranks the most powerful passport in the world, with a visa-free score of 157, followed by Sweden, Finland, Italy and Switzerland.  
The UAE passport ranks at the top of the most powerful in the GCC, 27th in the world and 60th on the individual ranking; mainly boosted from its Schengen visa waiver obtained in 2015. 
Earlier in February, the UAE passport was declared as the most powerful in the region for the second year in a row in the Visa Restrictions Index 2016 released by Henley & Partners.
The UAE ranking advanced two spots to 38, with visa-free access to 122 countries.
In the sub-continent, India's passport ranked 74, with a visa-free score of 51, with an individual ranking of 151.
Whereas, neighbor Pakistan ranked 91 overall, with a visa-free score of 28, and an individual ranking of 198.
The highest ranked European country with an available Citizenship by Investment program is that of Malta, ranked 7th, followed by Cyprus (11th) and Bulgaria (14th).  
The highest ranked non-European passport is that of South Korea, ranked 3rd, with a visa-free score of 155; followed by Singapore, Japan and Malaysia.  
Passport Index' Welcoming Rank showcases the most and least welcoming countries in the world, ranked solely on the the number of countries they accept visa-free or with visa on arrival.
Dominica ranks the most welcoming country in the Caribbean and 2nd in the world.  
Although the world's top 10 passports this year are all European, it is relatively difficult to obtain visa-free mobility to its member states. According to the UN World Tourism Organisation, on average 76% of the world's population are required to obtain a visa prior to departure to Europe.
The highest ranked non-European passports are South Korea, ranked 12th, with a visa-free score of 155, followed by Singapore, ranked 14th.  
Today, over 20 countries are offering Residency and Citizenship by Investment programs and are competing for high net-worth investors around the world.

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