Despite an increase of three ranks internationally, the UAE passport continues to be the strongest in the area. It is currently the 12th most potent passport in the world.
According to the most recent Henley Passport Index, which was released late on Tuesday, UAE passport holders can travel to 179 countries without a visa before flights, up from 176 in July 2022 and 178 at the end of last year.
“Over the previous 10 years, the UAE has advanced 44 places in the ranking, from 56th to 12th, thanks to the addition of an amazing 107 visa-free locations. According to Dr. Christian H. Kaelin, chairman of Henley & Partners and the creator of the passport index, this is nearly twice as much growth as Colombia, which rose 28 spots to take the 37th slot in the rating.
Henley & Partners’ most recent ranking is based on verified information from the International Air Transport Association (Iata).
The second-strongest passport in the GCC is held by Qatar, which is ranked 52nd globally, ahead of Kuwait (54), Bahrain (59), Oman (60), and Saudi Arabia (61).
Schengen-style GCC visa
According to Henley & Partners, “Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries have usually demonstrated higher-than-average changes towards enhanced openness, with the UAE’s openness score rising from 58 to 80 since 2018 and Oman’s soaring from 71 to 106 over the same period.
Only the UAE has experienced a considerable rise in its own travel freedom, according to Dr. Robert Mogielnicki, a senior resident scholar at the Arab Gulf States Institute in Washington.
Regional governments can influence the development equation’s supply side by changing visa policies, implementing reforms, and starting new programs. Increased availability of these services does not, however, imply reciprocity or a sudden increase in consumer and business demand worldwide. According to reports, a Schengen-style visa is being developed to make travel between GCC nations easier. Such a move would necessitate tighter regional coordination of visa policies, perhaps improving the openness ratings of some GCC nations and putting the entire region more squarely in the international spotlight, he said.