Dubai: Effective Friday, the British government will reduce the cost of securing a passport abroad by roughly one third giving some welcome relief to UK expatriates working and living within the United Arab Emirates.
The UK government issued a statement yesterday noting that the April 7 start to the reduced cost to acquire or renew the document is in part a result of savings in the processing of passports overseas.
In 2010, all passport applications and renewals once handled within the UAE were moved to the British Passport Processing Centre (PPC) in Dusseldorf, Germany.
Immigration and Security Minister James Brokenshire, Her Majesty’s Passport Office, said the reduced fees are part of “better value” for UK citizens.
“In keeping with this commitment, I am pleased to announce that from 7 April the passport fee for customers applying for a UK passport overseas will be reduced by £45 (Dh275.17) for adults and £28.50 for children. The new fees are as follows: Adult 32 page passport £83, Child 32 page passport £53, Jumbo 48 page passport £91 (Child and Adult),” he said in the statement.
“This reduction comes as a result of efficiency savings made over the last three years by bringing back the processing and issuing of overseas passports to the UK, whilst maintaining the highest levels of security and customer service. This reduction follows the 2012 decrease in fee by £5 for all UK citizens applying within the UK.”
UK expatriate David said he was glad to hear savings were being shared with those who use services.
“A [UK] government fee is going down? Usually the fees go up,” queried David. “They centralised passport services so the cost of preparing passports should be going down and the savings passed on.”
He pointed out that government services should not be capitalised upon to earn extra revenue for the government.
“Clearly, they don’t want to be seen as making money from its citizens,” he said.
Another UK expat who has lived in Dubai for a decade said any savings is good for the pocketbook amid rising costs here.
“I don’t even know how much I paid last time but it’s so infrequent — every 10 years I think — that I can’t remember. But I really appreciate the gesture,” said Kathy, who has lived in Dubai for 10 years. “This is a substantial savings.”