In 2014, it was announced after much deliberation that citizens of the UAE would join a list of select countries who will be exempt from a visa for short stays to the EU Schengen countries.
While the waiver is yet to be officially implemented, the UAE still managed to move up one spot in a global ranking of countries based on the freedom of travel for their citizens, compiled annually by Henley & Partners.
The UAE, Qatar and Oman saw increases in passport ranking from 2013 to 2014, the Henley & Partners Visa Restrictions Index 2014 found.
The UAE, whose citizens are allowed visa-free access to 77 other countries (as of July 2014), increased from 56th to 55th position on the index. Qatar also jumped from 57th to 56th position with a score of 75, while Oman, with a score of 66, moved from 65th to 64th position.
Overall, the index – which scores 174 countries in total – found that the biggest single mover was Moldova, which jumped from 68th to 46th place, achieving a score of 89 countries.
Afghanistan, Iraq, Somalia, Pakistan and Palestine remain in the bottom five places of the ranking, with citizens of these countries enjoying the least freedom of travel.
The global ranking is produced in collaboration with the International Air Transport Association (IATA), which maintains the world’s largest database of travel information.
The list was created with visa regulations effective on May 20, 2014.
BEST PASSPORTS IN THE WORLD FOR TRAVEL
1. Finland, Germany, Sweden, USA, United Kingdom
2. Canada, Denmark
3. Belgium, France, Italy, Japan, South Korea, Luxembourg, Netherlands, Portugal, Spain
4. Austria, Ireland, Norway
5. New Zealand, Singapore, Switzerland
8. Malaysia, Malta
10. Czech Republic, Hungary
Also read: Worst Passports For Travel