Published: Tue, December 04, 2018
Worldwide | By Jermaine Blake

First Muslim country that wins title of 'Most powerful passport'

First Muslim country that wins title of 'Most powerful passport'

The UAE has overtaken Singapore and Germany as the country with the world's most powerful passport.

Singaporean and German passports both allow entry without prior visas to 166 countries, according to the online index, while a host of western European nations, the US and South Korea come next with access to 165.

According to world's most popular online interactive tool, Passport Index, which collects, displays and ranks the passports of the world, has given this result.

A UAE passport holder can also obtain visas from 54 countries upon arrival, said the Passport Index in its December 2018 report.

The Emirati passport had witnessed unprecedented progress globally in the past few years, reflecting the global stature of the country, he said.

The UAE's rise to the top of the care-free travel has come as a surprise to some. It was developed by Canada-based global consultancy Arton Capital.

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Eleven countries tied for third place with their citizens able to access 165 destinations without a visa.

Denmark, Sweden, Finland, Luxembourg, France, Italy, Netherlands, Spain, Norway and South Korea made it into bronze position.

The UAE passport's rank this year was a big jump from its No. 24 individual rank in Passport Index's December 2017 report.

While the United Kingdom tied for fourth place with Belgium, Austria, Japan, Greece, Portugal, Switzerland, Ireland and Canada on holders being able to travel to 164 countries.

At the other end of the table, the least powerful passport is that issued by Afghanistan, which offers visa-free access to just 29 countries.

Iraq's passport will get you into 32 countries visa-free, Pakistan 35, Syria 36 and Somalia, with visa-free travel to 38 countries. "We determine the strength of the passport based on the ability of the citizens of a country to travel to another country without the need for a visa in advance and obtaining visa access from the airport", Arton said in a statement carried by the UAE state news agency WAM.

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