Bahrain king grants citizenship to 240 Brits

King Hamad also uses speech in the UK to hit out at coverage of the island’s political tensions

Bahrain's King Hamad bin Issa al-Khalifa. (AFP/Getty Images)

Bahrain's King Hamad bin Issa al-Khalifa. (AFP/Getty Images)

Bahrain has awarded citizenship to 240 British expats living in the island Gulf state, the country’s king announced while on a visit to the UK this week.

"There are some 9,000 permanent British residents in Bahrain making a major contribution to the prosperity of the kingdom as they have always done. Indeed I am proud to say that, by due legal process, we have granted Bahraini nationality to 240 British citizens as they themselves had requested and whose loyal service more than justified it,” Bahrain’s King Hamad Bin Eisa Al Khalifa said in a speech at a reception at the Windsor Endurance Festival in the UK.

Gulf Daily News reported the monarch thanked Queen Elizabeth for inviting him to attend the horse show, while some reports claimed the Bahraini king is had given his British counterpart a present of two Arabic horses.

The island state has been the focus of political protests and demonstrations, but the king used his speech to hit out at coverage of the events in some of the western media.

"This encouraging picture of a dynamic and happy country is not always the one reflected by the Western media. But as Disraeli said - 'it is easier to be critical than correct'. Of course the unrest of 2011 has had an impact and it continues in a small number of villages to this day,” the king said.

“We are doing our best to tackle it through dialogue and the improvements we have put in place in our legal and policing procedures in which we have had much support from the UK authorities. Unfortunately we are dealing with a small but violent minority inspired and supported by elements outside the kingdom. But we remain confident that we will achieve an outcome satisfactory to all," he added.

The ceremony was attended by Prince Andrew, the Duke of York and several high ranking UK and Bahraini officials.

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Posted by: amey

I m born in bahrain 1994
I also want natinality of bahrain my question is that what is the process ???

Posted by: Miss A.

There are of stateless siblings who support the King, the Kingdom Of Bahrain, happy with their lives in Bahrain & are helpful for the economy. He should grant them all Bahraini nationality. They are all urgent.

Posted by: Bahrain Moderate

As a Bahraini i can say that Bahrain has a long history of giving citizenship to people who have provided a positive contribution to the country etc. I would like to say one thing though about this news, as long as these UK citizens renounce their UK citizenship as required by Bahraini law (may not hold dual citizenship other than that of a GCC state) then i am ok. If they will not which is suspect is the case then i say this is wrong and should not have occurred. The law should be followed no exceptions. In respect to the other nationalities Bahraini citizenship was provided to thousands upon thousands of Pakistanis, Indians, Lebanese and Iranians etc. BTW most of the opposition in Bahrain was only recently given citizenship and they were never 'loyal' before or after. The law allows for all those that complete the necessary procedures to be granted citizenship. Please research before spreading false information.

Posted by: Luma

By positive contribution Bahraini Moderate means displaying loyalty to the unelected medieval dictator King Hamad and his family, and not to the country of Bahrain. In the US, you are required to show loyalty to the flag of the United States and not the President (who is at least elected). There is no clear procedure for granting citizenship in Bahrain. It is really based on the whims of the royal family. Regarding dual citizenship, it is allowed by law if the King wants to grant you an exception.

Posted by: RAH

Well-said, well-explained and enlightening to many of us, BH Moderate.

It's readers like you who can provide some positive information rather than stupid rants that add no value to us.

Thanks again.

Posted by: Mohd

Bahrain has lost its allure after the Arab Spring and a lack of oil reserves. Granting select citizenship to longstanding residents is a fantastic way of retaining a population that is loyal, dedicated and will only encourage others to make Bahrain their home.

Posted by: Raza

Its just Bahraini government will and wish to whom they want to give nationality, there is no question, why they don't give to Indian, Pakistani or Bangladeshi..!

Its their country so let them what they want to do.

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