Source: The National

In 2017, the United Arab Emirates announced its ambition to see the country's passport rank among the top five most powerful passports globally by 2021. The Arab nation not only achieved its goal ahead of schedule, but also went the extra mile.

According to Passport Index, the UAE's passport is the most powerful in the world for 2018.

The UAE overtook Singapore and Germany in the Passport Index, making it to the very top of the list.

This comes as UAE passport-holders can enter 167 countries without obtaining a visa in advance - 113 countries visa-free and another 54 requiring visas upon arrival. 

The Arab state jumped from third place in November to first place in December, after adding four countries to the list of destinations UAE passport-holders can visit visa-free.

The UAE passport had ranked 27th in December 2016, marking a significant leap during the past two years, according to Gulf News

The feat was announced just in time for the UAE National Day, which is annually celebrated on December 2. 

In response to the news, Dubai's ruler Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum wrote on Twitter: 

"On our glorious national day, our achievements are unveiling. Passport Index has ranked the UAE passport as the most powerful in the world, allowing passport-holders to enter 167 countries around the world visa-free. The world is opening its doors to the people of the UAE. Congratulations to the UAE, and big thanks to our exceptional Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation which is led by my brother Abdullah bin Zayed."

Meanwhile, Armand Arton, founder and president of Arton Capital which issues Passport Index, said

"We congratulate the UAE on this great achievement, and are pleased to work with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation since the launch of the UAE Passport Force initiative."

Here's how other GCC countries were ranked