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GCC states hold strongest passports in the Arab world

A most recent passport index report highlights that the UAE is in the lead of Arab and GCC passports.

GCC states hold strongest passports in the Arab world
[Source photo: Anvita Gupta/Fast Company Middle East]

According to the Q1 2024 Henley Passport Index, the GCC states have maintained their status as the most powerful passports in the MENA region this year, as was the case in 2023.

Being the most powerful passport in the world for the past few years, the UAE continues to hold the highest ranking among passports in the Arab world and is expected to maintain this position in 2024. Exclusive data from the International Air Transport Authority determine this ranking.

More specifically, the index reveals that the UAE is ranked 11th out of 199 countries this year, an improvement from last year’s ranking of 12. UAE passport holders now have visa-free access to 183 out of 227 destinations, compared to 179 destinations last year.

This signifies significant growth for the passport over the last decade, with 106 destinations added to the visa-free score since 2014.

Henley and Partners stated that this significant boost has led to “a massive leap of 44 places in the ranking, moving from 55th to 11th position.”

Following the UAE, Qatar is ranked 53rd, Kuwait holds the 55th position, Bahrain is in 59th place, Oman is in 60th, and Saudi Arabia is in 61st place.

Syria holds the weakest Arab passport and the second-weakest passport globally, ranking 103rd after Afghanistan. Syrian passport holders are allowed visa-free access to 29 destinations. Among the 10 weakest passports globally, all are Arab, with Iraq at 102nd, Yemen at 100th, Somalia at 99th, and Palestine and Libya sharing the 98th position.

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