The UAE now has the Number 1 passport in the Middle East region. Turkey is in 2nd place, and Kuwait is in 3rd place.
In remarkable upward trajectory in recent years, the UAE passport has moved from from 62nd place in 2006 to 21st place worldwide currently, according to the Henley Passport Index, which is based on exclusive data from IATA.
Strengthening its position as the passport-power champion of the Middle East, the UAE signed a visa-waiver with Russia in July, which is due to come into effect in the coming months.
Commenting on the UAE’s latest visa-waiver agreement, Ryan Cummings, Director of Signal Risk, said that it is aimed at “strengthening bilateral relations between the UAE and another global superpower”.
Following the visa-waiver signed with China earlier this year, this latest agreement with Russia will help the UAE “lower its dependence on its hydrocarbon sector and continue its robust economic growth trajectory” by stimulating tourism and trade.
Meanwhile, Japan has overtaken Singapore to claim the top spot on the 2018 Henley Passport Index, having gained 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.
This quarter, Germany has fallen further to 3rd place, which it now shares with South Korea and France.
France moved up from 4th to 3rd place when it gained visa-free access to Uzbekistan, while South Korea moved from 4th to 3rd place on 1 October when it gained visa-free access to Myanmar.
The US and the UK, both with 186 destinations, have also slid down one spot — from 4th to 5th place — with neither having gained access to any new jurisdictions since the start of 2018.