Fourteen get British citizenship

DUBAI - A special ceremony for applicants, recently granted British citizenship, was organised by the British embassy at their premises in Bur Dubai yesterday. The citizenship ceremony saw 14 new citizens from Dubai and the Northern Emirates taking their oath and speaking the affirmation of allegiance along with the citizenship pledge, honouring their loyalty to Britain.

By A Staff Reporter

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Published: Mon 9 Aug 2004, 10:04 AM

Last updated: Thu 2 Apr 2015, 1:11 PM

Heather Reynolds, Her Majesty’s Consul, hosted the ceremony and explained the concept behind it.

“The ceremony is being conducted for the first time here as the home secretary was very keen to commemorate the people who have been granted citizenship. Since it is a very important day for many people, we wanted to make it more special by hosting a ceremony in their honour,” she explained.

Many of the new citizens from the UAE were granted their citizenship under the British Oversees Citizens Act which grants a special status to citizens from former colonies of the empire.

Jenny Kyle, Passport Officer at the embassy, said that the ceremony will take place on a regular basis at the embassy as the number of applicants in the British Oversees Citizens category has been steadily increasing.

Many new citizens expressed their joy and happiness at the successful processing of their application. Said B. Rayees Kunhi, Territory Manager: “I’m quite pleased with the quick outcome of my application and am feeling on top of the world right now. It has been an immense journey and I’m looking forward to the future ahead.”

Another satisfied applicant was Eshwaran, who said that he was happy to be finally granted British citizenship. “I already hold a British passport but am quite happy today. Although I don’t feel any different, I know that this was a long pending step in my journey,” he said.

The applicants hailed from a diverse range of backgrounds and nationalities from countries such as India, Pakistan, Somalia, Yemen and Iraq. The average processing time for applicants, explained Ms Kyle, was subjective depending on the application.

“Every application is different and it may take somewhere between three to six months for the outcome to be known. After the applicants are given a certificate, they can then apply for their passport,” she said.

A similar ceremony might be planned at the Abu Dhabi embassy as well, said officials.

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