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The UAE Emirate of Dubai. Image: swisshippo/Bigstock

UAE ranks top in GCC in Quality Nationality Index

DUBAI, September 13, 2017

The UAE ranks top in the GCC in the latest Quality of Nationality Index (QNI) launched by Henley & Partners, a global leader in residence and citizenship planning.

Among the 195 nationalities listed in the index, UAE occupies 49th place, Kuwait 72nd, Saudi Arabia 82nd, Oman 83rd, and Bahrain 84th

Germany’s quality of nationality is ranked first in the world with a score of 82.7 per cent. The global mean of the index this year was 39.32 per cent, with Afghanistan sitting at the bottom of the index with a score of 14.6 per cent.

The UAE has made a spectacular jump forward, moving from 36.3 per cent in 2015 to 44.5 per cent of a possible 100 per cent in the second edition of the Henley & Partners – Kochenov Quality of Nationality Index (QNI).

The QNI was unveiled for the first time last year and is the first index to objectively rank the quality of nationalities worldwide, it said.

Following closely behind Germany in the global ranking are France and Denmark who share second place on the index with a score of 82.4 per cent. Iceland ranks third overall at 81.3 per cent. The UK also made it into the Extremely High category on the index, just missing out on a ‘Top 10’ place by coming 12th with a score of 79.2 per cent. The US, meanwhile, ranked only 29th on the QNI with a score of 68.8 per cent, mainly due to its relatively low Settlement Freedom compared to nationalities of the EU member states, and its weak showing on the Peace and Stability element of the index.

Commenting on the launch of the second QNI, Prof Dr Dimitry Kochenov, co-author of the QNI and a leading constitutional law professor, said: “The key premise of the index is that it’s possible to compare the relative worth of nationalities, as opposed to, simply, states. Everyone has a nationality of one or more states. States differ to a great degree — Russia is huge; Malta is small — Luxembourg is rich; Mongolia is less so. Just as with the states, the nationalities themselves differ too. Importantly, there is no direct correlation between the power of the state and the quality of its nationality. Nationality plays a significant part in determining our opportunities and aspirations, and the QNI allows us to analyse this objectively.

“The QNI is not a perception index. It uses a wide variety of quantifiable data to determine the opportunities and limitations that our nationalities impose on us. To achieve this, the QNI measures both the internal value of nationality — the quality of life and opportunities for personal growth within a nationality’s country of origin — and the external value of nationality — which identifies the diversity and quality of opportunities that nationalities allow us to pursue outside our country of origin,” Dr Kochenov said.

“Before the launch of the QNI, no single, credible source existed that ranked the nationalities of the world. The second edition of the QNI — which represents the status quo as on October 10, 2016 — reflects the quality of all the world’s nationalities. It also includes a number of new nationality and status entries, such as South Sudan, and eight British nationalities/statuses. The methodology has also been updated to include territories such as Dutch and French overseas territories, US territories, Greenland, and the Faroe Islands as settlement destinations,” said Kochenov.

The MENA region
The average value of GCC nationalities has improved from 35.05 per cent last year to 37.02 per cent in 2016 on the QNI General Ranking. This is substantially higher than the Middle Eastern average (27.20 per cent).

This primarily results from the free mobility of persons in the GCC area, which boosts Settlement Freedom and overall external value. Since the Economic Agreement of 2001, nationals are even entitled to pensions and social security benefits in other member states, going well beyond the QNI’s criteria for full access, it said.

The UAE nationality specifically, has performed remarkably and moved up 13 spots in comparison to last year’s rankings. This is because of the EU’s recent exemption of UAE nationals from a Schengen visa, granting visa-free access to the zone. In addition to the 26 travel destinations of the Schengen Area, UAE nationals are also given visa-free access to eight non-Schengen countries in Europe: Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, Romania, the Vatican, Andorra, San Marino and Monaco. Improved travel freedom is directly reflected in the QNI General Ranking and hence explains UAE’s spectacular jump forward in the 2016 QNI.

Commenting on the UAE’s ranking, Bata Racic, manager of Henley & Partners in the Middle East, said: “The upward trajectory in the ranking of UAE nationality is a reflection of the nation’s strong and growing diplomatic ties with the EU and other countries. The UAE’s sustained efforts in this area have proved instrumental in elevating the quality of its nationals while providing them with a host of valuable benefits such as the possibility to travel freely. Emiratis can now travel to an additional 34 countries for business or tourist purposes and stay there for up to 90 days in any 180-day period in one year. This advantage of increased mobility is of great significance both in qualitative and quantitative terms. - TradeArabia News Service

Tags: UAE | index | nationality |

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