The strength of the UAE passport not only represents the proud identity of Emiratis, but is also a key factor in enhancing their access to global opportunities, ease of movement and quality of life. Image Credit: Gulf News Archives

Abu Dhabi: Emiratis are proud to be holders of the world number 1 passport as they say the achievement will open up new avenues for them across the world.

The UAE passport has jumped to Number 1 as the world’s most powerful passport on Saturday, December 1, 2018 — on the eve of the country’s 47th National Day celebrations, according to the Dubai Media Office.

With this historic achievement, UAE passport holders are now able to gain visa-free entry to 167 countries worldwide, according to Passport Index.

Gulf News talked to a number of Emiratis who said that it would open up new opportunities for them in different sectors like education, healthcare and trade and at the same time it would allow them to travel visa-free around the world.

Mouza Awad, a 50-year-old Emirati woman from Al Ain of Abu Dhabi emirate, said, “First and most important benefit of the UAE passport being number one is that it will allow us visa-free travel around the world but it would also bring many other benefits as well. Suppose, if a person wants to travel for treatment he has to shuttle between embassies and offices to obtain a visa and it takes sometimes couple of weeks. But now we only need to get the ticket and travel. For example, if my mother is sick and I have to take her outside the country for emergency treatment — earlier due to visa issues it would take time but now it will be easy.” Education, healthcare and trade, in every sphere of life it would open up opportunities and facilitate travel visa-free. I would like to thank the wise leadership of the country for this achievement,” Awad said.

Emirati writer Mouza Awad. Image Credit: abdul Rahman/Gulf News

Obaid Al Kindi, 44 from Sharjah, said, “This is a big achievement for the UAE and a proud of moment for each Emirati in the country. Now the travel document which each Emirati has in his pocket allows him to travel throughout the world. It is a great achievement for each of us. Now we can travel for tourism, trade and education as well as the healthcare services. The country has been striving for this for long and we have achieved it. Many locals travel overseas for education and healthcare service, it will be beneficial to all of them.”

Obaid Al Kindi

Abdullah Al Nuwaimi, 31-year-old from Sharjah, said, “Top ranking of the Emirati passport is due to continued efforts of the leadership of the country who regard its citizens and their needs as the top priority. Now it will give more freedom to locals to travel around the world for any purpose. This is the result of Shaikh Zayed’s vision to put the UAE in the forefront and the noble leadership of the country has done it. This is a big achievement it will help the country and its citizens to further develop and establish a prominent place in the world arena in different spheres.”

Abdullah Al Nuwaimi

Eid Al Muhairi, 41-year-old from Ras Al Khaimah, said, “We thank the UAE’s leadership for this achievement — the grand success of the Emirati passport. This is the wise leadership of the country who have seen the Emirati passport take top position and now it would open up avenues for every Emirati in the country and government will develop more people-to-people contacts with different nationalities of the world and further develop bonding with them. Benefits are at par and people will gradually realise it when they would start doing trade and business abroad.”

Eid Al Muhairi Image Credit: Abdul Rahman/Gulf News

Another woman, Muna Sulum, 35-year-old from Sharjah, said, “The most important thing for us is to be able to travel overseas without visa and I consider this a big facility for us and which will make our path easier in different spheres of life. Our passport being number one will help us to be on the top of other things abroad. This will also help us promote Zayed’s humanitarian efforts outside the UAE and tell people that we are children of Zayed, the father of the nation. When we travel overseas, we carry with us UAE culture and tradition that we could share with the outside world and this would further boost relations with countries and promote people-to-people contact. This will make people to know more about the UAE and visit the country, learn about how people of different nationalities live together peacefully in the country.”

Muna Sulum Image Credit: Abdul Rahman/Gulf News