Visa Restrictions Index applauds UAE as the year's biggest climber
Henley & Partners is a global law firm specializing in residence and citizenship planning. For the last decade, the firm has published an annual Visa Restrictions Index that collects data from around the world to give insights into the ease or difficulty of visa structures in different countries.
This year marks the 10th year of the index, which allows for a deeper look at the cumulative data from the last decade. That gives analysts an unprecedented insight into the development of global visa policies over time.
The report found that while the world is becoming ever more globalized, there remains a very large disparity in the freedom of travel between different countries. Visa requirements define and shape individuals' ability to travel across borders while reflecting each country's relationships with others.
The United Arab Emirates took the spotlight as the biggest climber up the index this year. The Gulf nation added 37 countries to its list of visa-free travel partners. That marked an improvement in the rankings, launching the UAE from 55 to 40.
The UAE is also the biggest climber over the 10 years of the Visa Restrictions Index, and one of only 22 nations to move up in the rankings over the last year.
Marco Gantenbein, managing partner at Henley & Partners, said that while Europe, the U.S. and Canada continue to rank at the top of the list as the world's economic powerhouses, the UAE is what has people talking.
“It's the performance of the UAE which needs to be applauded for the implied improvement of its international relations, which is very much reflected in the improved ranking in the Henley & Partners Index," Gantenbein said.