Compulsory military service has been extended to 16 months for young men holding a secondary high school certificate and above, the General Headquarters of the UAE Armed Forces has said.
It was previously set at 12 months.
Compulsory national service for all young Emirati men aged between 18 and 30 was introduced in 2014. Women of the same age group can volunteer, as can men aged between 30 and 40.
University and college students are permitted to complete their education before they begin National Service, and all workplaces are required to allow Emiratis to complete their term without risking their jobs. Employees can be replaced temporarily, but they must be given the same job once they return.
Salaries, allowances, bonuses, pensions or other rights and privileges continue to be paid. Entrepreneurs and skilled workers receive a monthly bonus.
National Service has been credited with a 75 per cent fall in crimes committed by young Emiratis in the three years following its introduction in 2014.
The most dramatic change was in the number of fights or assaults among those aged between 18 and 30 that led to death or disability.
In total, 61 cases were reported from 2014 to 2017, down from 274 in the three years before National Service was introduced.
At the time, Dherar Al Falasi, general director of Watani Al Emarat, a social development programme to promote national identity and good citizenship, told The National that serving in the forces had helped many young people to get their lives in order.
“Many Emiratis had a problem with time management and by training them and introducing them to these programmes, it breaks their bad habits,” Mr Al Falasi said. “They are also more aware of how to manage their time. It not only reduces crime rates but many other things in the community.”