National Service military personnel participate in a parade. Mohamed Al Suwaidi / Crown Prince Court - Abu Dhabi
National Service military personnel participate in a parade. Mohamed Al Suwaidi / Crown Prince Court - Abu Dhabi

National Service is a life-changing programme that teaches young people strong values



Although it's relatively new to the UAE, the origins of military conscription go back thousands of years to ancient Mesopotamia, where the Kingdoms of Babylon employed a system of conscription called "ilkum". Clearly an ancient concept would not survive for this long if it did not have clear, tangible benefits to individuals and the society.

The decision to extend the term of National Service was met with enthusiasm from parents and young people in the UAE. In only three years, the benefits of the programme have already been felt by the conscripts who joined up and by society as a whole.

Many of those young people described National Service as a "life-changing programme" that has completely transformed their lives and perspective. It enforced important values and encouraged the adaptation of essential skills that are necessary in building successful individuals; such as discipline, time-management, respect and accountability.

The benefits of the programme were also reflected in the society as a whole, as it helped to create a safer society. Reports show that National Service has helped to decrease the crime rate among young Emiratis by 75 per cent, as well as significantly reduce the number of incidents of disorder between young people. In addition, National Service promotes social cohesion and strengthens national identity. In today's world, one of the most important things to any country is to ensure that it has a cohesive society that will remain resilient against the challenges and the threats that could affect it.

National Service teaches young people the value of the safe, secure and prosperous life that we live. The security and stability of a country is most important, because there is no prosperity without it. It is important to understand and appreciate the role of the military, one of the most important institutions in the state, because we owe our prosperity and security to the men and women who have dedicated their lives to keep us safe.

National Service is one way to give back to a country that has given us so much. When our young people begin their adult lives by giving back, there is great hope that they will aspire to become the force that will drive their country forward to succeed in the future.

Mariam Rashed Al-Mehairbi is an Abu Dhabi-based writer with a master's degree in security and strategic studies and a master's in media and communications

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Director: Carol Mansour

Starring: Aida Abboud, Carol Mansour

Rating: 3.5./5

FFP EXPLAINED

What is Financial Fair Play?
Introduced in 2011 by Uefa, European football’s governing body, it demands that clubs live within their means. Chiefly, spend within their income and not make substantial losses.

What the rules dictate? 
The second phase of its implementation limits losses to €30 million (Dh136m) over three seasons. Extra expenditure is permitted for investment in sustainable areas (youth academies, stadium development, etc). Money provided by owners is not viewed as income. Revenue from “related parties” to those owners is assessed by Uefa's “financial control body” to be sure it is a fair value, or in line with market prices.

What are the penalties? 
There are a number of punishments, including fines, a loss of prize money or having to reduce squad size for European competition – as happened to PSG in 2014. There is even the threat of a competition ban, which could in theory lead to PSG’s suspension from the Uefa Champions League.

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Company name: Hoopla
Date started: March 2023
Founder: Jacqueline Perrottet
Based: Dubai
Number of staff: 10
Investment stage: Pre-seed
Investment required: $500,000

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Developer: Big Ape Productions
Publisher: LucasArts
Console: PlayStation 1 & 5, Sega Saturn
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10 tips for entry-level job seekers
  • Have an up-to-date, professional LinkedIn profile. If you don’t have a LinkedIn account, set one up today. Avoid poor-quality profile pictures with distracting backgrounds. Include a professional summary and begin to grow your network.
  • Keep track of the job trends in your sector through the news. Apply for job alerts at your dream organisations and the types of jobs you want – LinkedIn uses AI to share similar relevant jobs based on your selections.
  • Double check that you’ve highlighted relevant skills on your resume and LinkedIn profile.
  • For most entry-level jobs, your resume will first be filtered by an applicant tracking system for keywords. Look closely at the description of the job you are applying for and mirror the language as much as possible (while being honest and accurate about your skills and experience).
  • Keep your CV professional and in a simple format – make sure you tailor your cover letter and application to the company and role.
  • Go online and look for details on job specifications for your target position. Make a list of skills required and set yourself some learning goals to tick off all the necessary skills one by one.
  • Don’t be afraid to reach outside your immediate friends and family to other acquaintances and let them know you are looking for new opportunities.
  • Make sure you’ve set your LinkedIn profile to signal that you are “open to opportunities”. Also be sure to use LinkedIn to search for people who are still actively hiring by searching for those that have the headline “I’m hiring” or “We’re hiring” in their profile.
  • Prepare for online interviews using mock interview tools. Even before landing interviews, it can be useful to start practising.
  • Be professional and patient. Always be professional with whoever you are interacting with throughout your search process, this will be remembered. You need to be patient, dedicated and not give up on your search. Candidates need to make sure they are following up appropriately for roles they have applied.

Arda Atalay, head of Mena private sector at LinkedIn Talent Solutions, Rudy Bier, managing partner of Kinetic Business Solutions and Ben Kinerman Daltrey, co-founder of KinFitz

Company Profile

Name: Direct Debit System
Started: Sept 2017
Based: UAE with a subsidiary in the UK
Industry: FinTech
Funding: Undisclosed
Investors: Elaine Jones
Number of employees: 8