Surprisingly most powerful passport

A rather unassuming country is the new holder of the world’s most powerful passport, according to the 2018 Passport Index.

The United Arab Emirates (UAE) now has the world’s most powerful passport with visa-free access to the greatest number of countries.

The Middle Eastern state added four new countries to lift its total number of easy entry destinations to 167, meaning UAE passport holders now enjoy visa-free travel to more countries than anyone else in the world.

Last year’s number one passport, Singapore, now shares second place with Germany.

Australians can travel to 109 countries visa-free and get automatic entry visas on arrival from 52 nations, making our passport the seventh most powerful, tied with Malaysia, Slovenia, Poland, Lithuania, Slovakia and Latvia.

Last year, a UAE passport didn’t even make the top 10. Dubai’s leader Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum congratulated and thanked the teams at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation for somehow making its passport the most powerful.

The least powerful passports are Iraq and Afghanistan, granting visa-free access to only 32 and 29 countries respectively.

The top 10 most powerful passports are:

1. United Arab Emirates

2. Singapore, German

3. Denmark, Sweden, Finland, Luxembourg, France, Italy, Netherlands, Spain, Norway, South Korea and USA

4. Belgium, Austria, Japan, Greece, Portugal, Switzerland, Ireland and Canada and United Kingdom

5. Czech Republic and Hungary

6. Malta, Iceland, New Zealand

7. Australia, Malaysia, Slovenia, Poland, Lithuania, Slovakia and Latvia

8. Estonia

9. Romania and Bulgaria

10. Cyprus and Liechtenstein.


Are you surprised by UAE’s move up the powerful passport ranks? Are there any countries that have given you trouble with access?

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Written by Leon Della Bosca

Publisher of YourLifeChoices – Australia's most-trusted and longest-running retirement website. A trusted voice on Australia's retirement landscape, including retirement income and planning, government entitlements, lifestyle and news and information relevant to Australians over 50. Leon has worked in publishing for more than 25 years and is also a travel writer and editor, graphic designer and photographer.

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