Singapore dethroned by UAE in world’s most powerful passport, but at least we’ll get faster clearance into UK

Photo: Coconuts Media
Photo: Coconuts Media

Damn, how many times do these rankings change each year? The title of most powerful passport in the world no longer belongs to Singapore — it’s the United Arab Emirates turn on the throne.

This is according to the passport index by global financial advisory firm Arton Capital, which should not be confused with the passport index by global citizenship and residence advisory firm Henley & Partners. Both indexes rank passports by the number of visa-free and visa-on-arrival access to countries, but Arton Capital obtains its data from proprietary research from publicly available sources and information provided by government agencies, while Henley uses data provided by the International Air Transport Authority as well as open-source online data.

Both firms proclaim that they are the authority when it comes to passport indexes.

Anyway, back to the matter at hand. The UAE passport now has a score of 167, with its holders having visa-free access to 113 countries and getting a visa on arrival to 54 countries. Singaporeans, now tied in second place with Germany, have visa-free access to 127 countries, but only 39 countries where they’ll get a visa on arrival.

Clearly, the UAE is very chuffed about this.

It’s yet another blow to the Singapore passport, as the little red book also got dethroned in the Henley Passport Index back in October. In those rankings, Japan claims top spot, while Singapore dropped to second place, also tying with Germany.

The UK though

In second place we may be, but at least we now get to use the automated self-service gates in the United Kingdom. From the summer of 2019, Singaporeans will be eligible to use the e-passport gates at UK immigration checkpoints, meaning faster clearance processes into the country.

Singapore and South Korea now join the United States, Canada, New Zealand, Australia and Japan in having its citizens eligible for expedited clearance.

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