UAE to require military service for Emirati men
The Prime Minister of the United Arab Emirates, Sheikh Mohammad bin Rashid Al Maktoum, took to Twitter on Sunday to announce the Gulf state’s plans to implement mandatory military service for Emirati men between 18 and 30 years of age.
The new law adds another layer to the national defense force to further protect our nation, secure its borders & preserve its achievements.
— HH Sheikh Mohammed (@HHShkMohd) January 19, 2014
The UAE cabinet has endorsed the law, according to the state’s WAM news agency.
Emirati men with high school degrees will serve nine months in the country’s armed forces, while those who have not completed high school will serve for two years. Military service for women will remain voluntary.
The Associated Press reports the announcement appeared to be an attempt to get more Emirati nationals to serve in the armed forces. The UAE currently relies on foreigners, who make up 90 percent of the population, to fill out its military.
This measure could also be a response to instability and threats in the region, including a territorial dispute with Iran over three islands in the Gulf.