The UAE passport has been declared the world’s most powerful document. In the index compiled by consulting firm Nomad Capitalist, the Emirati passport entered the top 10 for the first time this year — jumping straight to the number one spot from 35th last year.

This is largely due to the travel freedoms afforded by a UAE passport, “plus the country’s business-friendly environment and enviable tax system”, according to the index.

The 199-country Nomad Capitalist Passport Index highlights the best citizenships in the world. The index ranks passport on five factors:

- Visa-free travel: A UAE passport holder can enter a total of 181 destinations — either without a visa, through a visa on arrival, or via an electronic travel authorisation.

- Taxation of citizens: According to the index, UAE has a taxation score of 50, which means “zero taxes”.

- Perception: The company relied on the World Happiness Report, Human Development Index, and “subjective factors” to determine how each country’s citizens are received and recognised.

- Dual citizenship: A score of 30 means UAE citizens are “often allowed to hold other citizenships”.

- Personal freedom: This relies on data and news reports on mandatory military service, government surveillance and Press freedom.

With a total score of 110.5, the Emirati passport ranking is based on the above factors as “just the number of countries UAE passport holder may visit won't tell the whole story and you will have to deal with far different requirements to pay tax, live freely, comply with regulations, and avoid scrutiny when traveling”.

The 10 best passports on the index are:

  1. UAE
  2. Luxembourg
  3. Switzerland
  4. Ireland
  5. Portugal
  6. Germany
  7. Czech Republic
  8. New Zealand
  9. Sweden
  10. Finland

The Index was designed to speak to the specific needs of aspiring global citizens in a world where global mobility is increasing, yet wealth preservation and personal freedom are increasingly elusive.

Many passports have seen diminished visa-free travel due to recent global events. As these scores fluctuate the value of holding multiple citizenships becomes ever more important.

The 199 countries in the index were ranked according to five criteria: visa-free travel opportunities, taxation of citizens, dual citizenship possibilities, personal freedom and perception.

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