The UAE passport has been ranked 20th among the most powerful passports for 2019, according to the Henley Passport Index.
The list was based on data from the International Air Transport Association (IATA), which analyses how many countries a passport holder can enter visa-free or on a visa-on-arrival basis. The index includes 199 passports and 227 travel destinations - including micro-states and territories.
The UAE entered the Henley Passport Index's top 20 for the first time in the index's 14-year history, with a visa-free or visa-on-arrival score of 167.
Over the past five years, the UAE has more than doubled the number of destinations its citizens are able to travel to without a prior visa"
"Over the past five years, the UAE has more than doubled the number of destinations its citizens are able to travel to without a prior visa," said the report.
In 2018, countries like Brazil, Canada, Ireland, and Mexico all lifted visa requirements to Emirati citizens. In 2018, the passport was at 21st place. This year already both Russia and Uzbekistan have lifted visa requirements. There's also electronic visas when going into Pakistan as of this year.
The Emirati passports success makes it the highest jumper of any passport on the list and the most powerful in the Middle East. A decade ago the UAE passport was the 61st most powerful in the world.
Japan and Singapore have held onto their joint top spot, with each country offering visa-free access to 189 destinations. Among the weakest are Pakistan, Palestine and Nepal, all of which are actually weaker than North Korea.