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UAE passport most powerful in region, 22nd globally

UAE Passport Force initiative aims to place the country’s passport on the list of the five most important passports in the world by 2021

Gulf News

ABU DHABI: The UAE passport ranking advanced in 2017 to the first spot in the Arab world and 22nd globally, according to Global Passport Power Rank 2017.

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation recently launched the UAE Passport Force initiative, with the view to place the state’s passport on the list of the five most important passports in the world by 2021 upon the directives of Shaikh Abdullah Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation.

This great achievement reflects the success of the UAE diplomacy during the past period on the directives of President His Highness Shaikh Khalifa Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, His Highness Shaikh Mohammad Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, and His Highness Shaikh Mohammad Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces.

The feat also comes as a result of the efforts exerted by the UAE diplomacy to establish strategic political, economic, commercial, cultural, scientific, and educational as well as health relations and partnerships that contribute to enhancing the status of the state at the international level.

In January this year, the Arton Capital Passport Index revealed that within the GCC region, the UAE took the crown as the most powerful passport, which allows nationals to travel to 122 countries visa-free or on arrival. The annual study by Arton Capital ranked the UAE as the world’s 27th most powerful passport.

The ministry underlined that the UAE 2021 Vision, which aims to make the country one of the best countries in the world by the time of the golden jubilee of the Union, has encouraged the ministry to strengthen the state’s position in the international arena, and hence, launched the UAE Passport Force initiative to enable citizens to enter countries without the need for pre-entry visa requirements. “This increases happiness of the citizens,” it added.

The ministry stepped up the diplomatic move towards greater openness to the world through the exchange of visits and contacts at the highest levels, as well as regular holding of joint committee meetings. These moves also included opening up and strengthening relations with the Latin American, Pacific and African countries, besides strong positive presence in all regional and international forums.

The ministry stressed that the UAE diplomacy plays a vital role in persuading governments around the world to agree to exempt UAE citizens from the pre-entry visa requirements when they visit their countries.

Ahmad Saeed Elham Al Daheri, assistant undersecretary for Consular Affairs at the ministry, said the ranking of the UAE passport as the first Arab passport and 22nd globally, according to Arton Capital Passport Index 2017, “is one of the most important achievements of the UAE diplomacy led by Shaikh Abdullah”.

The UAE passport allows its holder to visit 128 countries around the world without a pre-entry visa requirement.

“These great accomplishments reflect the strategic, political, economic, social and cultural dimensions, with important implications in terms of prestige and appreciation, being enjoyed by the UAE, led by President Shaikh Khalifa, at the international level.”