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Omani passport holders can travel to 80 countries visa-free

Muscat: The Sultanate of Oman's passport has been ranked 64th most powerful in the world, according to the Henley Passport Index 2022, which is based on the number of destinations their holders can access without a prior visa.

As per the report, Omanis can now visit 80 countries around the world visa-free. In 2021, the Omani passport was ranked 71st in the world.

In the GCC, is UAE passport is ranked is 15th globally with 175 visa-free destinations, Saudi Arabia (65 with 79 visa-free destinations, Qatar 53 with 97 visa-free destinations, Kuwait 54 with 79 visa-free destinations, and Bahrain 62 with 84 visa-free destinations.

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The ranking is based on exclusive data from the International Air Transport Association (IATA), which maintains the world’s largest and most accurate database of travel information, and is enhanced by the Henley & Partners Research Department. The index’s scoring system was developed to give users a nuanced, practical, and reliable overview of their passport’s power. Each passport is scored on the total number of destinations that the holder can access visa-free. For each travel destination, if no visa is required, then a score of 1 is allocated for that passport. This also applies if passport holders can obtain a visa on arrival, a visitor’s permit, or an electronic travel authority (ETA) upon entry. Where a visa is required, or where a passport holder must apply for a government-approved electronic visa (e-Visa) before departure, a score of 0 is assigned. The same applies if they need pre-departure approval for a visa on arrival.

According, to IATA an individual could, on average, visit 57 countries in 2006 without needing to acquire a visa in advance. Today, that number has risen to 107, but this overall increase masks a growing disparity between countries in the global north and those in the global south, with nationals from countries such as Sweden and the US able to visit more than 180 destinations visa-free, while passport holders from Angola, Cameroon, and Laos are able to enter only about 50.

Germany and South Korea hold onto joint 2nd spot on the latest ranking, with passport holders able to access 190 destinations visa-free, while Finland, Italy, Luxembourg, and Spain share 3rd place, with a score of 189. The US and the UK passports have regained some of their previous strength after falling all the way to 8th place in 2020 – the lowest spot held by either country in the index’s 17-year history. Both countries now sit in 6th place, with a visa-free/visa-on-arrival score of 186.

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