Japan's passport best for travel, Taiwan's rallies

Japan has the strongest passport in the world according to new Henley & Partners ranking

Japan has the strongest passport in the world according to new Henley & Partners ranking

This makes the UAE passport the 21st most powerful passport in the world, up from 38th a year ago.

Singapore had been the top dog, but thanks to a new arrangement with Myanmar, Japan now leads with 190 visa-free countries.

Germany, which began 2018 in the top spot, is now in third place with 188 destinations, tied with France and South Korea.

The 2018 Henley Passport Index, an annual ranking which links the world's passports according to how many countries their holders can gain visa-free access to, has shown that those with UAE passports can now travel unimpeded to 161 countries around the world.

Afghanistan's and Iraq's passports were the weakest in the October survey, with accessibility to 30 destinations each.

The US and the United Kingdom, which jointly occupied the top spot in 2015, have since slid to 5th place - with Germany, China and Russian Federation also dropping down the list, according to the Daily Mail.

The Henley Passport Index ranking is based on exclusive data from the International Air Transport Association, which has the world's largest database of travel information.

Since a year ago South Africa has added four new visa-free destinations.

It is updated regularly to reflect changes in the number of visa-waiver agreements signed between countries.

The biggest mover since 2006 is the UAE, from 62nd place to 21st place.

Looking ahead, the most dramatic climb on the Henley Passport Index might come from Kosovo, which officially met all the criteria for visa-liberalization with the EU in July and is now in discussions with the European Council. Newcomer Moldova, for example, which launched its CBI program in the second half of this year, has climbed 20 places since 2008.

Dr. Christian H. Kälin, Group Chairman of Henley & Partners, says countries with citizenship-by-investment programs all fall within the top 50 of the index.

A score with value = 1 is also applied if passport holders can obtain a visa on arrival, a visitor's permit, or an electronic travel authority (ETA) when entering the destination.

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