UAE named most powerful passport as world reopens after Covid shock

Arton Capital’s latest Passport Index reveals 14.8% rise in the World Openness Score at the start of Q4 since the beginning of the year

The UAE passport is the most powerful in the world, according to the latest Passport Index compiled by Arton Capital.

As of the start of October, the UAE passport rose four places to top the global rankings with a score of 152 as the world continues to open up after the coronavirus pandemic.

The UAE beat New Zealand (146) into second place, with Germany, Finland, Austria, Italy, Luxembourg, Spain, Switzerland, South Korea, Australia tied in third place with a score of 144.

As the UAE opens its doors to the world for the start of Expo 2020 (pictured below), the Passport Index revealed a 14.8 percent increase in the World Openness Score (WOS) at the start of Q4 since the beginning of the year.

While up nine percent on the last quarter, the average global mobility score across all 199 countries measured by the index, was 89, based on a total of visa-free or visa-on-arrival access provided.

Arton Capital said the aftermath of the Covid-19 pandemic continues to affect travel and mobility, adding that it is testament to the many countries around the world that have managed to take a lead in seeing the world opening up once more.

In the GCC, the UAE was the biggest climber across Q3, moving up four places to the number one spot.

Over the last quarter, other GCC nations remain in similar rankings – Bahrain down seven places to 52nd (80), Kuwait down eight to 50th (85), Oman down seven to 56 (75), Qatar down seven to 47 (91) and Saudi Arabia down five in 55th place (76).

While European passports continue to lead in the global rankings, Australia and South Korea both improved their mobility score going into Q4.

The UK, Canada, the US (142) and Singapore 141) were the only other non-European passports in the Passport Index’s top 10.

Armand Arton, president of Arton Capital, said: “To start Q4 with a 14.8 percent increase in global mobility shows that the world is thankfully opening up once more, and on an encouragingly positive trajectory. We do note, however, that we are still only back to mobility levels first achieved six years ago, so the aftermath of the global shutdown is still very much in play.”

Top 10 passports:

  • United Arab Emirates (152)
  • New Zealand (146)
  • Germany, Finland, Austria, Italy, Luxembourg, Spain, Italy, Switzerland, South Korea, Australia (144)
  • Sweden, The Netherlands, Denmark, Belgium, Portugal, Rep. of Ireland (143)
  • France, Malta, Czech Republic, Greece, Poland, Hungary, UK, Canada, US (142)
  • Singapore, Norway, Slovenia, Slovakia, Japan (141)
  • Estonia, Lithuania, Latvia, Iceland (140)
  • Liechtenstein (139)
  • Croatia (137)
  • Romania, Bulgaria, Monaco (136)

10 weakest passports:

  • South Sudan, Libya, Sudan (45)
  • Ethiopia, North Korea (44)
  • Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Nepal (43)
  • Iran, Eritrea (42)
  • Palestinian Territories, Myanmar (Burma) (41)
  • Yemen (38)
  • Somalia, Pakistan (37)
  • Syria (34)
  • Iraq (33)
  • Afghanistan (32)

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