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British embassy to scale back passport services in the Gulf
Travel documents for British citizens will no longer be processed in Abu Dhabi or Dubai.
March 22, 2010 12:47 by Ben Flanagan
The British embassies in Dubai and Abu Dhabi will scale back passport services from 1 August, as part of a cost-cutting exercise in the Gulf region.
Full validity passports for British Nationals will no longer be processed at either embassy, but emergency travel documents will be still be obtainable from within the Emirates, according to a statement carried by the UAE state news service.
“From 1 August 2010, all passport applications from the UAE will be processed and printed centrally in the Passport Processing Center in Dusseldorf. These changes are being implemented throughout the Gulf region in 2010,” the embassy said in a statement.
“Until that date one should continue to submit passport applications at the British Embassy in Abu Dhabi or Dubai”.
The statement advised anyone planning to travel in the next two to three months to check the British embassy website regularly for advice and information.
“These changes are part of a global initiative to streamline and modernize the UK’s overseas passport operation. The UK remains one of the few countries printing passports in embassies and consulates abroad. This is expensive to do and is less secure as we have to transport blank passports around the world. Our aim is to reduce the cost of running the operation, while improving security and maintaining a high standard of customer service”, the statement added.
The embassy has advised to allow up to four weeks to submit an application before travelling.
“We aim to process straightforward passports within ten working days upon receipt in Dusseldorf of the correct documentation and payment. Applications from first time applicants will take longer. Please ensure you allow extra time for delivery at both ends of the process”, it said.
“After 1 August 2010, if you need to travel urgently you can contact the British Embassy in Abu Dhabi or Dubai to purchase an Emergency Passport”, the statement said.
“By the end of 2010 there will be 7 Regional Passport Processing Centres (PPCs) worldwide. Six PPCs, including Dusseldorf, are already in place covering Europe, The Americas, Australasia and Southern Africa”, it pointed out.