There is a new most powerful passport in the world
Japan and Singapore can no longer lay claim to having the most powerful passports in the world, as a surprising country has knocked them from the top of the list – the United Arab Emirates (UAE).
The UAE has just shot to the top of The Passport Index, an interactive real-time passport ranking platform, hitting a record-breaking score. The country’s passport now has a visa-free score of 167, which, according to the ranking, gives them access to 84% of the world.
The index is run by Arton Capital and rates passports based on the number of countries a citizen can visit without needing to get a visa or apply for one on entry. It is constantly comparing the passports of 193 countries and 6 regions of the UN members, using data collected from publicly available information, government sources and international bodies.
The UAE has had a quick rise up the list, moving from the 27th spot in December 2016 to first place globally in December 2018, according to a statement from the Emirati government. It entered the top 10 of The Passport Index only in July, when it entered into a visa agreement with Russia. Some of the most recently signed visa facilitation agreements were with Mexico, Liberia and Sierra Leone. The UAE had set a goal to get its passport to the top five in the world by 2021, but has now reached that goal far ahead of time.
Just back in February, South Korea moved into a shared space in the top spot on The Passport Index, alongside Singapore, with a visa-free score of 162. Previously, Germany had been in the top spot.