(MENAFN - Emirates News Agency (WAM))
ABU DHABI, 3rd December, 2018 (WAM) -- The ranking of the UAE passport as first globally is a great and historic achievement that reflects the huge triumph of UAE diplomacy, which succeeded in building bridges of friendship and cooperation between countries around the world, an editorial in a local English language daily has said.
The editorial, in today's edition of The Gulf Today, noted, "The joy is doubled by the fact that the exceptional achievement on 1st December, 2018, coincided with the 'Year of Zayed' and country's 47th National Day, adding to the country's numerous accomplishments in various domains."
The paper continued, "The Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation under the leadership of H.H. Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, deserves all praise for the relentless efforts to achieve the diplomatic feat.
"Incidentally, the Ministry had launched the UAE Passport Force initiative to place the Emirati passport on the list of the five most powerful passports in the world by 2021. The country has achieved this goal three years before the deadline.
"Visionary leadership and pragmatism have helped the UAE retain its status as a peaceful, powerful and prosperous country. Surveys have repeatedly indicated that the region's youth look at the UAE as an oasis of peace and an ideal destination for progress.
"It should be noted that the Passport Index, which declared the ranking, is the world's most popular online interactive tool that collects, displays and ranks the passports of the world.
"It is the only real-time global ranking of the world's passports, updated as frequently as new visa waivers and changes are implemented.
"The implication of the ranking is that the UAE passport holder can now travel to 167 countries without the need for pre-visa requirements, which is 84 percent of the number of countries listed in the index.
"In a globalised world, travel freedom between countries is of paramount importance. For the UAE citizens, what can be more pleasing to hear than the amazing news that the Emirati passport ranks first internationally! "Such diplomatic achievements reflect the high global position that the UAE has attained, opening up further horizons for its citizens, and mirrors the respect the country commands at the regional and international levels."
The paper concluded by quoting His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President, Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai, as saying, in a tweet, "The world opens its doors to the people of the UAE. Congratulations to the UAE. All thanks to the team of our Foreign Ministry led by my brother Abdullah bin Zayed."
WAM/Esraa Ismail/Rasha Abubaker