This marks a significant decline from the number one spot the UK and USA jointly held in 2015.
Other countries in the top 10 for most powerful passports were: France and Sweden (sixth place); Austria, Ireland, Netherlands, Portugal and Switzerland (seventh place); Australia, Canada, Czech Republic, Malta and New Zealand (ninth place); and Hungary, Lithuania and Slovakia (10th place).
The UAE continued to impress on the Henley Passport Index. Henley & Partners said: “The index’s historic success story remains the steady ascent of the UAE, which has climbed a remarkable 47 places over the past 10 years and now sits in 18th place, with a visa-free/visa-on-arrival score of 171.”
On the other end of the travel freedom spectrum, Afghanistan remains at the bottom of the index, with its nationals only able to visit a mere 26 destinations visa-free.
Dr Christian H. Kaelin, Chairman of Henley & Partners and the inventor of the passport index concept, said the latest ranking provides a fascinating insight into a rapidly changing world.
“Asian countries’ dominance of the top spots is a clear argument for the benefits of open-door policies and the introduction of mutually beneficial trade agreements,” he said.