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Wed 26 Mar 2014 07:54 PM

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UAE approves new law to bring in compulsory national service

Federal National Council says protection of the UAE is 'a sacred national duty to each Emirati'

UAE approves new law to bring in compulsory national service
Emirati armed forces take part in a military show at the opening of the International Defence Exhibition and Conference in 2013. (AFP/Getty Images - for illustrative purposes only)

The UAE's Federal National Council on Wednesday approved a law to bring in compulsory national and reserve service for all Emirati males between the ages of 18 and 30.

The law aims at forming a national reserve force "to defend the country, its borders, achievements, as well as strengthen youth allegiance to the country, upgrade their sense of duty and participation".

The FNC discussed on Tuesday eight articles of the draft law. It completed the discussion of all 44 articles of the draft law on Wednesday, news agency WAM reported.

According to the federal draft law, the protection of UAE, its independence and sovereignty represent a sacred national duty to each Emirati.

It said that the national service will "polish youth personalities and boost national spirit to meet future challenges".

The UAE announced plans to introduce compulsory military service in January.

The move was announced by Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, vice president and prime minister of the UAE and ruler of Dubai.

The length of service is set to be two years for those without high school degrees, and nine months for those who have graduated from high school, it was reported.

Earlier this month, Qatar's Emir issued a law to make national service compulsory for males aged 18 to 35 years. The law stated that citizens who fail to undertake mandatory national service will not be eligible for jobs in the government and non-government sectors.