As global travel restrictions ease, the United Arab Emirates (UAE) emerges as the front-runner with the most powerful passport. With visa-free or visa-on-arrival access to a staggering 181 destinations, the UAE surpasses all others, according to the Passport Index by Arton Capital. This prestigious ranking considers various factors, including visa waivers, COVID-19 travel bans, and geopolitical conflicts.
The UAE’s remarkable climb to the top spot showcases its resilience and strategic initiatives. Notably, the country’s successful Expo 2020 Dubai played a pivotal role, enabling lower-income nations to exhibit their culture and gaining visa-free agreements in return.
Following closely behind the UAE are eleven countries, including Germany, Sweden, Finland, Luxembourg, Spain, France, Italy, Netherlands, Austria, Switzerland, and South Korea, all boasting visa-free access to 174 destinations. Denmark, Norway, Belgium, Portugal, Poland, the United Kingdom, Ireland, the United States of America, and New Zealand form a nine-way tie in third place, each offering access to 173 destinations.
Amid ongoing travel restrictions, Russia finds itself in 37th place, while Ukraine gains ground, moving up to 19th place. Afghanistan, Syria, and Iraq rank lowest on the list, with limited access to destinations.
The rankings highlight the significant rebound in global mobility since the onset of the pandemic. In 2020, the most powerful passports allowed entry to just 112 destinations, underscoring the impact of COVID-19.
However, when temporary restrictions are removed, the travel freedom offered by these passports looks remarkably different.
It’s worth noting that the methodology employed by the Passport Index by Arton Capital differs from the Henley Passport Index. While Arton Capital provides real-time updates to reflect changes in visa policies, the Henley Passport Index offers a snapshot view without considering COVID-19 or conflict-related visa alterations.
The UAE’s dominance in passport power underscores its visa-free privileges, robust economy, and absence of income taxes. As global circumstances evolve, the rankings continue to fluctuate, making it essential to track updates from sources like Arton Capital and the Henley Passport Index.
Nomad Capitalist, a consultancy firm, has also assessed passport values based on factors like visa-free travel, taxation policies, dual citizenship opportunities, perception, and personal freedoms. Their analysis reinforces the UAE’s coveted position due to its visa-free privileges, booming economy, and zero income taxes.
In contrast, countries like the United States, the United Kingdom, and Australia face lower rankings due to taxation policies impacting their passport values.
Ultimately, the UAE’s most powerful passport paves the way for unrivalled global mobility, reflecting its progressive approach and commitment to facilitating seamless travel for its citizens.