The United Arab Emirates has just dethroned Singapore and Germany as the country with the world’s most powerful passport. On the eve of the country’s 47th National Day, the UAE passport jumped from third place to the number one spot after four more countries were added to its list of visa-free destinations, according to the Global Passport Index. This means that holders of the UAE passport can enter 167 countries without applying for a visa or simply obtain one at the airport on arrival — just in time for holiday travel season.
“This achievement is a true reflection of the legacy of Sheikh Zayed, the Founding Father of the UAE,” said Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation in a statement. “It also underscores what can be achieved through positive diplomacy, reflecting the UAE as a confident and engaged force at the global stage.”
Singapore and Germany’s passports are tied for second place, both allowing entry without prior visas to 166 countries, according to the online index. Meanwhile, a number of European nations, the US, and South Korea come next with visa-free access to 165.
The feat is historic for the UAE, which was ranked 27th only two years ago. The accomplishment comes just weeks after the Emirates was named the second safest country to visit in the world for the second consecutive year. The Gulf country beat out popular tourist destinations including France, Italy, Singapore, the US, and Thailand. The country was ranked second only to Iceland by Which? Travel when it comes to lowest risk of crime.