Fifty-three new citizens spoke yesterday of how their troubles melted away when a decree by the President recognised them as Emiratis.
They were the latest to benefit from Sheikh Khalifa's order granting citizenship to 1,117 people who were born to Emirati mothers but foreign fathers, and showed their gratitude at a ceremony hosted by the Ministry of Interior for Naturalisation and Residency.
"The decree contributed to solving many of the challenges we face every day of our lives," said the brothers Suhail and Mohammed Abu Bakir, while Muhsen Abdullah described the decree as "majestic and humanitarian".
"God bless and protect the country that held us with love," said the sisters Eman and Samra Ahmed. Their mother, Aisha Al Rashidi, described herself as a proud Emirati who had been made even more proud now that her daughters were citizens. She said she raised them according to Emirati traditions.
Many of the citizens described the gesture as lifting a burden from their shoulders and making a lifetime dream come true.
The sisters Samiha and Arwa Hussain said that no words of gratitude would be enough to express to the President how they felt.
Major General Nasser Al Awadi Al Menhali, the acting assistant undersecretary of the ministry congratulated the new citizens and asked them to uphold the country's reputation and pride.
He also called on them to abide by the constitution and laws and pay heed to its traditions and cultural customs.