Schengen visa waiver boosts UAE passport ranking

May 7, 2015, Dubai — The UAE passport has received a major boost to its Passport Index ranking, following the easing of visa restrictions on travel into the European Union’s Schengen Zone for Emirati passport holders.

As of May 7, 2015 UAE nationals are exempt from visa when travelling to Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Rep., Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden and Switzerland. This does not include Ireland (Rep.) and the United Kingdom, where other regulations apply. Separate agreements still have to be implemented for the Schengen Member States of Iceland and Norway.

The decision allows Emiratis to remain in those countries for up to 90 days in any given 180 day period.

As a result of the move, the UAE’s visa free score in Arton Capital’s Passport Index has reached 104, immediately gaining 32 points. Importantly, this has also shifted the GCC state’s position in the Index to 31st place from 47th before the change was approved by the European Parliament. The new ranking puts the country first amongst its peers in the MENA region.

Arton Capital’s Passport Index is the world’s first online interactive tool, which collects, displays, and ranks the utility of global passports.

Commenting, Armand Arton, president and CEO of Arton Capital said: “This was a decision the UAE has been waiting to hear for some time and it has given the Gulf country’s passport an instant boost within the Passport Index. It is a testament to the high regard the international community now holds for the UAE and awards those travelling on its passport with increased freedom of global mobility.”

Visitors of passportindex.org can discover the world’s passports on a map, by country name, by Passport Power Rank and even by the color of their cover. The ranking is based on points accumulated for each country that the passport holder can travel visa-free. The country list is based on the 193 UN member countries and 6 territories for a total of 199. The territories annexed to other countries are excluded.

The Passport Index is just one of the numerous interactive tools made available by Arton Capital, whose mission is to empower global citizenship through innovative products, services and tools geared towards educating and promoting the benefits of becoming a global citizen.

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