Muscat: The Sultanate tops the region in the Global Passport Index standing at the 13th rank. The ranking is calculated by how many countries a passport holder can visit without an advance visa, or by purchasing a visa on arrival.
A person holding an Omani passport can visit 134 countries in the world, according to a ranking by financial advisory firm Arton Capital which created the index based on travel freedom their citizens enjoy.
Visa requirements are an interesting but overlooked indicator of international relations. Most countries require non-nationals to get visas before they enter their borders, but the requirements can differ a lot.
The ranking puts the US and UK passports first, giving access to 147 countries without an advanced visa. France, South Korea and Germany are second, with access to 145 countries, followed by Italy and Sweden in third; Denmark, Singapore, Finland, Japan, Luxembourg and the Netherlands in fourth; and Switzerland in fifth.
Advanced economies dominate the top of the list. Hong Kong comes in at 11, while Argentina is ranked 16th. Brazil ranks 17th, Mexico 22nd, the Russian Federation 35th, and China 45th.
Next in the region comes UAE with a passport ranking of 47 followed by Kuwait at 57, Bahrain and Saudi are at 57 while Egypt is at 64.
Algeria ranks 66 while Jordan is at 68 and Syria at 69.
Libya, Iran and Sudan are level at 70 while Lebanon is ranked 73 and Yemen 76. Iraq stands at 79 while passport of Palestinian Territories is ranked 80.
The website of Arton Capital also allows one to sort passports by location and by colour. While the colour grouping doesn’t have any obvious purpose, it’s strangely satisfying to see the world’s passports grouped into collections of red, blue, green and black.
SOURCE: OMAN DAILY OBSERVER