Emiratis top opportunity ranking for Arab world and climb in global survey

UAE has climbed the global ranking significantly over the past five years

The National
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UAE nationals enjoy the best opportunities in the Arab region, according to a new global ranking.

The UAE was ranked in 46th place in the 2017 edition of the Henley & Partners – Kochenov Quality of Nationality Index (QNI), which "objectively measures and ranks all the world's nationalities as legal statuses through which to develop [citizens'] talents and business".

The country's 2017 ranking places the Emirates significantly higher than countries in the rest of the Arab region, with Kuwait in second place at 82.

“The Emirati nationality has climbed 13 positions over the past five years, making a significant leap forward when its holders received visa-free travel access to the Schengen Area in 2016,” said Henley & Partners, which also operates a ranking of the world’s passports.

“The nationality of the United Arab Emirates continued this trend in 2017 with an additional 10 visa-free or visa-on-arrival travel destinations, now boasting 130 such destinations in total and overtaking the Israeli nationality as the best nationality in the region. As a result, it pushes further into the world’s top 50, moving from 49th place in 2016 to 46th place in 2017,” said QNI in a note on its website.

Qatar suffered a “remarkable free-fall” due to its dispute with its GCC neighbours, according to the report, reducing the value of the Qatari nationality from 70th place in 2016 to 87th place in 2017.

“In fact, despite a relatively strong starting point (56th place in [the first QNI edition in]2013), the Qatari nationality has dropped more significantly over time than war-torn and unstable Libya, Syria, and Iraq,” said Henley & Partners.


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Colombia has been the highest climber since 2013, rising 50 positions to 61st place in the 2017 ranking.

France’s quality of nationality is the best in the world in 2017, according to the report. Germany, Iceland, Denmark and the Netherlands round out the top five. The US sits at 27th place, while the UK dropped to 13, and it is expected to plummet still further with Brexit, according to Henley & Partners.

The ranking is based on a variety of factors, including peace and stability; economic strength; diversity of travel freedom; and diversity of settlement freedom.

“The QNI will be of interest to anyone who is curious about how their nationality performs in comparison to other nationalities and about the local, regional, and global opportunities and limitations associated with their nationality.

“The Index is of particular significance to financially independent individuals who wish to acquire the benefits of an alternative citizenship: these individuals can use the QNI as a reference tool when selecting the most valuable second or third nationality for themselves and their families.”