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Revealed: How powerful is your passport?

Revealed: How powerful is your passport?

These are the world’s most powerful and least powerful passports

According to the Henley Passport Index, which periodically ranks the world’s passports in order of the number of countries that its holders have visa-free or visa-on-arrival access to, three Asian countries – Japan, Singapore and South Korea – jointly occupy the first position with access to 189 countries.

Germany is in close second position with visa-free/ visa-on-arrival to 188 countries, thanks to a recent visa agreement with Uzbekistan.

This dynamic rating has seen a major shift over the last few years. For example, in 2015, the United Kingdom and the United States of America jointly held the first position.

Now, the UK occupies the fifth position with a score (number of countries that its nationalities have visa-free or visa-on-arrival access to) of 185 while America is in the sixth position with a score of 184.

According to the Henley, the UAE is in 21st position (jointly with Brunei) with visa-free/ visa-on-arrival access to 165 countries.

This is a remarkable increase from the UAE which was in 65th position only a decade ago with a score of 52.

Among the GCC countries, the UAE has the best passport scores the highest.

Read: UAE passport ranked world’s most powerful

“The UAE’s meteoric rise in the Henley Passport Index is indicative of the country’s growing soft power and its viability as a global commercial, economic and travel hub,” said Bata Racic, Director of Henley & Partners Dubai.

“Since 1999, visa restrictions on Emirati citizens have been lifted by over 45 different countries, and we expect the Gulf country to continue its remarkable growth trajectory over the coming months and years.”

The UAE’s passport was also recently ranked as the world’s most powerful, according to a Passport Index released by Arton Capital in December. Citizens of the Emirates can fly to 167 countries without needing a visa, that report found.

Among the remaining GCC countries, according to Henley, Kuwait came second with visa-free/ visa-on-arrival access to 92 destinations, followed by Qatar (87 destinations), Bahrain (81 destinations), Oman (76 destinations) and Saudi Arabia (73 destinations).

The UAE’s rise in the passport ranking can be attributed to the singing of several visa agreements recently Russia, Mexico, Japan, and Sierra Leone.

Geopolitical factors, like the decision to become a member of China’s Belt and Road Initiative, and the forging of strategic partnerships with China have, according to analysts, also being catalysts in the process of UAE’s passport becoming ever stronger.

World’s most powerful passports in 2019, according to Henley Passport Index:

(Score reveals the number of countries and territories citizens have visa-free/visa-on-arrival access to)

  1. Japan, Singapore, South Korea
    Score: 189
  2. Germany
    Score: 188
  3. Denmark, Finland, Italy, Sweden, France 
    Score: 187
  4. Luxembourg, Spain
    Score: 186
  5. Austria, Netherlands, Norway, Portugal, Switzerland, United Kingdom

Score: 185

  1.  Belgium, Canada, Greece, Ireland, United States of America
    Score: 184
  2. Czech Republic
    Score: 183
  3. Malta 
    Score: 182
  4. Australia, Iceland, New Zealand 
    Score: 181
  5. Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Slovakia, Slovenia
    Score: 180

World’s least powerful passports in 2019, according to Henley Passport Index:

  1. Afghanistan, Iraq
    Score: 30
  2. Somalia, Syria
    Score: 32
  3. Pakistan
    Score: 33
  4. Yemen
    Score: 36
  5. Eritrea, Sudan
    Score: 38
  6. Palestinian Territory, Lebanon
    Score: 39
  7. Libya, Nepal
    Score: 40
  8. Bangladesh, South Sudan, Iran
    Score: 41
  9. Ethiopia, North Korea
    Score: 42
  10. Sri Lanka, Congo, Kosovo 
    Score: 43

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