Global openness up 14.8% as Passport Index Q4 pushes UAE back to # 1

DUBAI – As the UAE opens its doors to the world for the start of Expo 2020, the ultimate real-time global mobility tool, the Passport Index, revealed a 14.8% increase in the World Openness Score ( WOS) at the start of the fourth quarter. , since the beginning of the year.

While up nine percent from last quarter, the average global mobility (MS) score, across the 199 states measured by the index, is 89; based on total visa-free or visa-on-arrival access provided.

The consequences of the COVID-19 pandemic continue to affect travel and mobility and this is a testament to the many countries around the world that have managed to take the initiative to see the world open up again. As of July 2021, COVID tracking data from Bloomberg showed the United Arab Emirates to be the most vaccinated country in the world, with more than 73.8% of the population vaccinated.

The UAE does not have one but two powerful passports – the yellow “Expo 2020 Passport” which gives you access to 191 countries – but only Expo 2020 Dubai and over the next six months. Expo 2020, dubbed the world’s largest trade fair, hosted a lavish opening ceremony on October 30, 2021.

Based on a mobility score that totals the number of visa-free or visa-on-arrival countries that a passport currently grants to its holder, the Passport Index also notes COVID-related restrictions that change daily. . This allows travelers and governments to have the most recent information on global mobility, in real time.

For example, at the time of writing this article, the US mobility score is 142. It is calculated on two data points: A US passport holder has access to 97 countries without a visa, plus 45 others with a visa on arrival.

Restrictions due to COVID-19 are also taken into account by the index, which is useful for providing the most recent information to travelers and governments, as changes in this regard are more frequent.

Great performances

While European passports remain at the top of the world rankings, Australia and South Korea (MS 144) both improved their mobility scores in the fourth quarter, coming in second, along with Germany and the Spain.

United Kingdom, Canada, United States (MS 142 / joint 5e) and Singapore (MS 141/6e) were the only other non-European passports in the top 10 of the Passport Index.

Commenting on the latest rankings, Armand Arton, chairman of Arton Capital, the creators of the Passport Index, said: positive trajectory.

“We note, however, that we are still only back to the mobility levels first achieved six years ago, so the consequences of the global shutdown are still very much present.

“In addition to the restrictions linked to the pandemic, the geopolitical events of the past three months have also seen the extraordinary circumstances create problems with travel, mobility and migration to and from Afghanistan – although the Afghan passport, before the events recent, has already been ranked lowest on the mobility score.

“While this is clearly a difficult time for many affected, times of crisis can often put the issue of global mobility in the spotlight,” Arton added.

Commenting on the growing need and utility of the world’s only real-time global mobility tracking tool, Hrant Boghossian, vice president of marketing for Arton Capital, the inventors of the Passport Index, said, “In addition Passport rankings and comparisons, our World Openness Score tool offers both a real-time and periodic barometer of global mobility, showing trends and movements of countries measured on an index of 199 countries.

“This is particularly useful for travelers as COVID-19 restrictions remain a key influencer and disruptor in the ability to travel. It is also useful for governments looking to compare their performance and relationships with others and to gather information on trends and geopolitical decisions that affect these rankings, ”Boghossian said.

The Passport Index is more than just a filing tool; Unlike other indicators on global mobility, Passport Index data can reflect temporary and often geopolitically disruptive or pandemic-related travel restrictions – in real time.

Additionally, the index’s ability to offer insight on a number of socio-political influencers means that many foreign ministries around the world are already using the platform to analyze and compare their policies with others.

Regional statistics: In the GCC, the United Arab Emirates were the biggest climber, in the third quarter of 2021, moving up four places to the top spot. In the last quarter, other GCC nations remain in similar rankings: Bahrain drops seven places to 52sd (MS 80), Kuwait down eight to 50e (MS 85), Oman down seven to 56 (MS 75), Qatar down seven to 47 (MS 91) and Saudi Arabia down five to 55e place (MS 76).

Europe: Outside the EU, the biggest changes in the ranking of passports since the start of the year have been for Ukraine, up 37 places (MS 124/19e), Moldova gains 34 places (MS 103/36e) and Albania, up 15 places to (MS 100/39e). UK (MS 142) and Norway (MS 139) – remain in joint fifth and sixth place in the third quarter, but down one and three places, respectively, since the start of 2021. Russia is currently in 34e with an MS of 105.

Within the EU, Germany, Finland, Austria, Luxembourg, Spain and Italy were the highest ranked in terms of mobility (MS 144), all in third place alongside countries non-EU members like South Korea, Australia and Switzerland.

The most improved European passport in the first three quarters was Malta (+12 places / 5e) with Italy, Hungary, the Czech Republic, among others, each climbing 11 places in their respective rankings, since January 2021.

Americas: While the United States and Canada (MS 142/5e) continue to climb the rankings after last year’s drop, Mexico dropped four places to 24e in the past three months. In South America, Brazil is currently the highest ranked in the world (MS 127/16e), after climbing 5 places in the top three quarters, the continent’s highest climber was Colombia, up 18 places in 38e position.

Africa: With numerous COVID-19-related travel restrictions still in place on the African continent, movement and mobility scores here have stagnated or have fallen several places since the start of the year and into the third quarter. At the turn of the fourth quarter of 2021, the only mobility score improved since the start of the year is not on the mainland – Seychelles (MS 111) in 29e position – the same ranking as at the start of the last quarter.

Asia: In the third quarter, South Korea is the highest-ranked Asian country in third (MS 144), while Japan is sixth (MS 141), down from third at the end of the second quarter. China, the world’s second-largest economy, lost 11 places (63rd) with an MS 65 below the world average. India has gained 11 places since the start of the year (72sd) with an MS of 56, but one of the biggest winners in Asia, for 2021, remains the Kingdom of Brunei, up 94 places, over the first three quarters, and 22sd ranked globally.

The top ten: 1. United Arab Emirates Total MS 152; 2. New Zealand Total MS: 146; 3. Germany, Finland, Austria, Italy, Luxembourg, Spain, Italy, Switzerland, South Korea, Australia Total MS: 144; 4. Sweden, Netherlands, Denmark, Belgium, Portugal, Rep. from ireland Total MS: 143; 5. France, Malta, Czech Republic, Greece, Poland, Hungary, United Kingdom, Canada, United States. Total MS: 142; 6. Singapore, Norway, Slovenia, Slovakia, Japan. Total MS: 141; 7. Estonia, Lithuania, Latvia, Iceland. Total MS: 140; 8. Liechtenstein Total MS: 139; 9. Croatia. Total MS 137 and in 10, Romania, Bulgaria, Monaco. Total DM: 136.

10 weaker: 83. South Sudan, Libya, Sudan. Total MS 45; 84. Ethiopia, North Korea. Total MS: 44

85e: Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Nepal. Total MS: 43; 86. Iran, Eritrea. Total MS: 42; 87. Palestinian Territories, Myanmar (Burma). Total MS: 41; 88. Yemen. Total MS: 38; 89. Somalia, Pakistan. Total HS: 37; 90. Syria. Total MS: 34; 91. Iraq. Total MS: 33; 92. Afghanistan. Total HS: 32. – SG

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