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The UAE Now Has The World’s Most Powerful Passport

The UAE Now Has The World’s Most Powerful Passport
Scott Dylan

Is your passport powerful enough? The Passport Index has released its ranking of passports from countries around the world. Which country comes out on top as we head into 2019? The United Arab Emirates (UAE) is now home to the top passport in the world. The Passport Index ranks the power of passports from a total of 193 countries and six territories around the world. Countries with passports that provide access to visa and visa-free travel to the most places get the highest scores.

People who hold UAE passports can currently enjoy entry into 167 destinations. A total of 113 of the countries on the list allow visa-free entry for UAE passport holders. The remaining 54 do require visas. Those numbers helped the UAE to finally overtake Singapore. Passports from Singapore have been notoriously powerful for quite some time. A passport from Singapore will grant you access to 127 countries on a visa-free basis and 39 countries with a visa. German passports also continually make it to the top of the list. A German passport will grant you access to 126 countries on a visa-free basis and 40 countries with a visa. Passports from Singapore and Germany both offer entry to 166 countries in total.

Where does the United States rank when it comes to passport power based on the Passport Index’s findings? The United States is actually tied for third place alongside Denmark, Sweden, Finland, Luxembourg, France, Italy, the Netherlands, Spain, Norway and South Korea. People who hold United States passports can enter a total of 165 countries. They can enter 116 of those countries without visas. The remaining countries require either visas or visas upon arrival.

Afghanistan comes in last based on the Passport Index’s findings. A passport from Afghanistan will grant you access to just 29 countries. Only five of those countries can be entered on a visa-free basis. Yemen, Somalia, Syria and Pakistan are the other countries that came in near the bottom in regards to passport power.

How long will passports from the UAE stay on top? It’s hard to say. The reality is that the power of each passport is always in flux. Geopolitical events and relations between countries can cause governments to change visa policies. Those changes can make passports from the countries that are affected more powerful or less powerful in the blink of an eye.

The findings of the Passport Index aren’t consistent with the findings released by the Henley Passport Index. That ranking places Japan in first place. UAE passports actually fall all the way down to 21 in that ranking. What is the reason for the differences? Both indexes seem to be pulling from different sources when it comes to making their rankings. The Henley Passport Index relies mainly on data that comes from the International Air Transport Authority.

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