With several countries now re-opening their borders following a largely cautious easing of COVID-19 restrictions through H1 2021, the passport rankings of many nations have been improving.
However, in the Gulf Cooperation Council, with the exception of the United Arab Emirates, the passport rankings of all other five states has gone down few notches since 2020 end.
Oman’s ranking has gone down from 45th in 2020 to 49th in the Q3 2021 passport power rankings announced by the Passport Index, the real time interactive resource for individuals and government agencies on global mobility.
In the GCC, only the UAE moved up 11 places to third, while other GCC nations showed a decline in rankings: Bahrain (-5/45), Kuwait (-7/42), Qatar (-6/40), and Saudi Arabia (-5/50).
Overall, while the increase in global mobility was up by 6.5 per cent, the US is one of the biggest gainers and Germany and New Zealand top the list.
A previous, pre-COVID holder of the No 1 passport ranking (1st in 2019), the UAE has moved up from 14, at the end of 2020, into joint third place – the highest-ranking country of any Arab and MENA nation and the only one in the global top ten.
Oman’s passport allows visa-free travel to 28 nations and visa on arrival to 39. In comparison, UAE’s passport facilitates visa-free travel to 84 nations and visa on arrival to 48.
The Passport Index’s Mobility Score (MS) is based on adding two key figures – the number of countries for which a passport has visa-free entry (VF) and the number it can obtain a visa on arrival (VOA). These totals determine the passport rank, with New Zealand (92-VF/44-VOA) ranked top, going into Q3 with a mobility score of 136.
Over H1 2021, the top performing passports on the index often show a correlation between a commitment by governments to openness or swift diplomacy between nations, as well as those who are better managing the global COVID-19 crisis, within their borders. These include the UAE (+11), Israel (+13), and the US (+16), according to the index.
“It is safe to say that the worst of the COVID-19 pandemic is behind us, as we see more and more countries safely opening up their borders,” said Armand Arton, founder and president of Arton Capital, and the creator of The Passport Index.
1 – New Zealand
2 – Germany, Spain, Australia
3 – Finland, Austria, Italy, Switzerland, Ireland, Japan, South Korea, USA, UAE
4 – Sweden, Netherlands, Denmark, Belgium, France, Portugal, Luxembourg, Czech Republic, Hungary
5 – Malta, Slovenia, Greece, Poland, Slovakia, UK
6 – Singapore, Norway, Lithuania
7 – Estonia, Latvia
8 – Iceland, Canada
9- Cyprus, Croatia, Liechtenstein, Romania
10 – Bulgaria
© 2021 Apex Press and Publishing. All Rights Reserved.