UAE has the strongest passport in the Middle East
It has been revealed that the UAE has the most powerful passport in the Middle East and North Africa when it comes to visa-free travel.
According to an annual travel freedom ranking published by the Henley & Partners Visa Restrictions Index (HVRI), the UAE passport ranks 38th in the world due to its holders being able to visit 121 countries (including Europe's Schengen area) without having to apply for a Visa.
Other GCC nations maintained their positions and ranked within the top 70. Kuwait was placed in 60th with access to 80 countries and Qatar, at 62, has visa-free access to 78 countries.
Bahrain (66), Oman (68) and Saudi Arabia (69) followed closely behind, with visa-free access to 73, 69 and 68 countries respectively. Egypt and Lebanon still find themselves significantly further down the rankings at 88 and 96 respectively.
Germany held its place at the top of the index with access to an impressive 176 countries, with Sweden in second and Denmark, Finland, Italy, Spain and the US sharing third spot. Despite previously being ranked the most powerful passport in the world from 2013 to 2015, UK slipping down the rankings to fourth.
Syria, Pakistan, Iraq and Afghanistan sit at the bottom of this year’s Index, with visa-free access to less than 30 countries worldwide.
A lot of change is expected in the coming year with Henley & Partners citing geopolitical events such as Brexit, Donald Trump's Presidency and the European Parliament’s vote to end visa-free travel for Americans will heavily impact the rankings over the next 12 months.