Military service compulsory for men, optional for women.
UAE President Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan has issued Federal Law No.6 for the Year 2014, on the national military service and reserve force.
The national service is compulsory for all male citizens aged between 18 to 30 who are medically fit. However, enrolment will be optional for women after receipt of consent from their guardian.
The law is in accordance with the principles of the UAE Constitution, as referred to in Article No. 43, which states that defending the Union is a sacred duty of every citizen and national service is an honour for citizens as per the law.
The law aims to instill values of loyalty and sacrifice in the hearts of the citizens, linking them with the teachings of religion and the socialisation of different generations in terms of leadership characteristics, physical power and self-reliance, responsibility and discipline, respect of law, and time. National service would further consolidate and develop youth through scientific and practical training.
Emiratis who have not completed secondary school will serve for two years, while those with a secondary school certificate will serve for nine months. While the period of service for female Emiratis will be nine months regardless of the school level.
The national service will be performed in the Armed Forces, Ministry of Defence, Ministry of Interior, the State Security Authority and other military institutions specified by the Deputy Supreme Commander of the Armed Forces. The period of national service will include military training, and national and security lectures.
As for alternative forms of service, those who do not meet the conditions of performing national service will do administrative, civil and technical jobs according to their capabilities and with the same duration of service. Those proven medically unfit will be exempted from service. Alternative service does not include any military exercises or spending nights in a camp or use of weapons.
According to Law No. (6), government, federal and local departments, as well as private sector institutions, must allow their Emirati employees to join and to complete their national service without risking their jobs. Their positions can be filled on a temporary basis until they have completed their service. Salaries, allowances, promotions, allowances and other privileges should be given to those enrolled in the compulsory service.
During the period of national service, benefits and privileges including bonuses, pension or other rights and privileges will continue. Entrepreneurs and skilled workers undertaking the compulsory military service will receive a monthly bonus as specified by federal law.
The law states that the General Headquarters of the Armed Forces will provide initial training after which those undertaking the service will be distributed among a number of entities, including the Armed Forces, Ministry of Defence, Ministry of Interior, the State Security Authority and other competent institutions.
The national service for students in the UAE and abroad will be postponed until after their graduation.
For those for whom national service in the national service at the mentioned entities is postponed to subsequent years, they will not be exempt from service at a later date, even if they are over the age limit of 30, provided they have not reached the age of 40.
The federal law states that conditions for exemption from the compulsory service will cover those who are permanently medically unfit, as per a decision from the medical committee, as well as those who are the only son of their parents. This will be proven by official documents from the competent entities in the country.
The national and reserve service law was issued to inculcate a love of homeland through defending the country and its achievements.