Published: Thu, October 11, 2018
Worldwide | By Jermaine Blake

UAE passport surges up global rankings of 'most powerful'

UAE passport surges up global rankings of 'most powerful'

"China and the UAE exemplify this kind of progress, with both states among the highest overall climbers compared to 2017, purely as a result of the strong relationships they have built with partner countries around the world".

The 2018 Henley Passport Index is a ranking of all the passports of the world according to the number of countries their holders can travel to visa-free.

New Zealand passport holders can travel without visas to 182 countries.

The latest report also showed that US and the United Kingdom passports, both with 186 visa-free destinations, fell one spot from fourth to the fifth place after failing to gain access to new destinations.

What's a passport for if you can't lord it over other countries as a physical statement of superiority?

MANILA, Philippines - Ever dreamed about being going to nearly every country you please without having to worry about visa requirements and the dreaded visa fee?

Christian H. Kälin, Group Chairman of the index, said countries with citizenship-by-investment, or CBI, programs all fall within the top 50 of the index.

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After gaining visa-free access to Myanmar earlier this month, Japan now enjoys visa-free/visa-on-arrival access to 190 destinations, compared to Singapore's total of 189, pushing Singapore into second place on the index.

Denmark, Finland, Italy, Sweden and Spain place fourth with access to 187 countries.

Germany, another country to hold the top spot in previous years, is now in third place alongside South Korea and France. The UK shares the ranking with Austria, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Norway, Portugal and the US.

VISA-FREE TRAVEL? The Philippines, unfortunately, isn't as lucky as its Asian neighbors.

The United Arab Emirates made the greatest leap on the index from No. 62 in 2006 to No. 21, and now holds the No. 1 passport in the Middle East.

Afghanistan and Iraq were ranked lowest on the index, as they have free-visa access to only 30 countries.

"As the world economy has become increasingly globalised, the need for greater visa-free access has grown steadily", said the Henley Passport Index report.

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