Qatar's passport has been ranked No 55 by the 2023 Henley Passport Index, an authoritative ranking of all the world’s passports according to the number of destinations their holders can access without a prior visa.
The Qatari passport allows citizens to travel to 100 destinations visa-free, according to the index.
In comparison, the Qatari passport was ranked No 57 in the 2022 index, allowing visa-free travel to 99 destinations.
For the fifth year running, Japan crowns the Henley Passport Index, which is based on exclusive data from the International Air Transport Association (IATA) – the largest, most accurate travel information database – and enhanced by Henley & Partners’ research team.
Japanese citizens are now able to visit 193 destinations out of 227 around the world visa-free, while South Koreans and Singaporeans, whose countries are tied in second place on the index, enjoy a visa-free/visa-on-arrival score of 192. Germany and Spain are joint third, with visa-free access to 190 destinations worldwide.
Finland, Italy and Luxembourg are joint fourth with 189 destinations, followed by Austria, Denmark, the Netherlands and Sweden in fifth with 188 destinations.
Jointly occupying the sixth position are France, Ireland, Portugal and the UK with 187 destinations, while Belgium, Czech Republic, New Zealand, Norway, Switzerland and the US are ranked seventh with 186 destinations.
In eighth position are Australia, Canada, Greece and Malta with 185 destinations, with Hungary and Poland in ninth with 184 destinations.
Completing the top 10 are Lithuania and Slovakia with 183 destinations.
Referring to the rankings of the US and UK, a press release by Henley & Partners says "it appears increasingly unlikely that either country will ever regain the top spot on the index, which they jointly held nearly a decade ago in 2014".
Global travel is now at around 75% of pre-pandemic levels, and those with the opportunity to do so appear to be embracing what has been termed ‘revenge travel’, the statement adds.
The Afghan passport is the lowest ranked, allowing visa-free score of 27.
Dr Robert Mogielnicki, senior resident scholar at the Arab Gulf States Institute in Washington, says in the Henley Global Mobility Report 2023 Q1 that the GCC countries are poised for strong or much-improved economic performances. "Qatar’s hosting of the 2022 FIFA World Cup provided an unparalleled opportunity to market the Gulf country to a global audience and served as a springboard for longer-term Qatari tourism plans," he observed.
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