Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid, Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai, chairs the Cabinet meeting in Abu Dhabi yesterday. Wam
Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid, Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai, chairs the Cabinet meeting in Abu Dhabi yesterday. Wam

UAE Cabinet introduces mandatory military service for Emirati males

ABU DHABI // The UAE will introduce mandatory military service for all Emirati men aged between 18 and 30, it was announced on Sunday.

And the President, Sheikh Khalifa, has ordered Cabinet to draw up a bill for a new national defence and reserve force.

Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid, Vice President and Ruler of Dubai, revealed details of the law on Twitter.

It will require all men who have finished secondary school or are aged between 18 and 30 to undergo military training.

The training will be optional for women.

“Today, I headed a Cabinet meeting where we started with procedures directed to us by the President with passing a law on national services and reserve,” Sheikh Mohammed tweeted.

"The new law aims to put together a new national defence in order to protect the homeland and its borders and its resources and gains."

Sheikh Mohammed said the training would include military exercises, and those enlisted in the Armed Forces would receive additional security training.

Emiratis who had finished secondary school will have to serve nine months, while those who had not will serve two years.

The reserves will consist of those who have completed their national service and military personnel who have finished their time in the Armed Forces.

“Protecting the nation and preserving its independence and sovereignty is a sacred national duty,” Sheikh Mohammed tweeted. “The new law will apply to everyone.

“Grounds of the Armed Forces are the fields of men and service there is an honour, and graduating from there is heroic, and our youth are the protectors of the nation, and its shield, and on them falls the responsibility of defending its soil.

“Our message to the world is a message of peace; the stronger we are, the stronger our message.”

The bill will now be passed to the FNC for debate.

Once passed, those eligible will have to report to authorities to determine their service status.

Working Emiratis will not be exempt. While serving in the military, time will be added to end of service and pension benefits.

All training will be held at Armed Forces centres.

Ali Jassim, an FNC member from Umm Al Quwain, said the law was long overdue.

“We wanted this to be imposed a long time ago,” Mr Jassim said. “However, now is also a good time. It is an honour to anyone who serves in it.”

He said many had welcomed the news since it was announced.

“It is vital that the youth know what is meant here by military service,” Mr Jassim said.

“It will give a person new skills, learn how to use a weapon, how to defend themselves and how to play an active role during any disaster.”

He said the main purpose of the military service was to “bolster the homefront”.

Fellow FNC member Sultan Al Sammahi (Fujairah) said it was important for young people to be trained in how to defend themselves.

“This emanates from the love for the nation,” Mr Al Sammahi said. “We as a nation do not view this as a new law, but a boost for the nation, a chance to answer back to the leaders and the country’s call.

“We are all today responsible for the country’s security and protecting it.”

Dr Natasha Ridge, executive director of the Sheikh Saud bin Saqr Al Qasimi Foundation for Policy Research in Ras Al Khaimah, said the law could have an educational benefit.

Dr Ridge said reduced service time for those who finished high school could lower already declining rates of school dropouts.

She said most recent figures revealed that up to 15 per cent of male Emiratis dropped out of secondary education, compared with 2 per cent among females.

“This law would encourage some to stay on and provide others planning to leave school early with a work opportunity,” Dr Ridge said.

She said one disadvantage that could arise, as it did in Singapore, was that women would have a nine-month head start at higher education, giving them an advantage in the labour market.

Qatar took a similar step in November, approving an imposing compulsory military service on men between the ages of 18 and 35.

Tours of duty would be three months for university graduates, and four for others.

Company profile

Company name: Fasset
Started: 2019
Founders: Mohammad Raafi Hossain, Daniel Ahmed
Based: Dubai
Sector: FinTech
Initial investment: $2.45 million
Current number of staff: 86
Investment stage: Pre-series B
Investors: Investcorp, Liberty City Ventures, Fatima Gobi Ventures, Primal Capital, Wealthwell Ventures, FHS Capital, VN2 Capital, local family offices


Company name: Revibe
Started: 2022
Founders: Hamza Iraqui and Abdessamad Ben Zakour
Based: UAE
Industry: Refurbished electronics
Funds raised so far: $10m
Investors: Flat6Labs, Resonance and various others

Where to donate in the UAE

The Emirates Charity Portal

You can donate to several registered charities through a “donation catalogue”. The use of the donation is quite specific, such as buying a fan for a poor family in Niger for Dh130.

The General Authority of Islamic Affairs & Endowments

The site has an e-donation service accepting debit card, credit card or e-Dirham, an electronic payment tool developed by the Ministry of Finance and First Abu Dhabi Bank.

Al Noor Special Needs Centre

You can donate online or order Smiles n’ Stuff products handcrafted by Al Noor students. The centre publishes a wish list of extras needed, starting at Dh500.

Beit Al Khair Society

Beit Al Khair Society has the motto “From – and to – the UAE,” with donations going towards the neediest in the country. Its website has a list of physical donation sites, but people can also contribute money by SMS, bank transfer and through the hotline 800-22554.

Dar Al Ber Society

Dar Al Ber Society, which has charity projects in 39 countries, accept cash payments, money transfers or SMS donations. Its donation hotline is 800-79.

Dubai Cares

Dubai Cares provides several options for individuals and companies to donate, including online, through banks, at retail outlets, via phone and by purchasing Dubai Cares branded merchandise. It is currently running a campaign called Bookings 2030, which allows people to help change the future of six underprivileged children and young people.

Emirates Airline Foundation

Those who travel on Emirates have undoubtedly seen the little donation envelopes in the seat pockets. But the foundation also accepts donations online and in the form of Skywards Miles. Donated miles are used to sponsor travel for doctors, surgeons, engineers and other professionals volunteering on humanitarian missions around the world.

Emirates Red Crescent

On the Emirates Red Crescent website you can choose between 35 different purposes for your donation, such as providing food for fasters, supporting debtors and contributing to a refugee women fund. It also has a list of bank accounts for each donation type.

Gulf for Good

Gulf for Good raises funds for partner charity projects through challenges, like climbing Kilimanjaro and cycling through Thailand. This year’s projects are in partnership with Street Child Nepal, Larchfield Kids, the Foundation for African Empowerment and SOS Children's Villages. Since 2001, the organisation has raised more than $3.5 million (Dh12.8m) in support of over 50 children’s charities.

Noor Dubai Foundation

Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum launched the Noor Dubai Foundation a decade ago with the aim of eliminating all forms of preventable blindness globally. You can donate Dh50 to support mobile eye camps by texting the word “Noor” to 4565 (Etisalat) or 4849 (du).


Directed by: Todd Phillips

Starring: Joaquin Phoenix

Rating: Five out of five stars


Director: Sudha Kongara Prasad

Starring: Akshay Kumar, Radhika Madan, Paresh Rawal

Rating: 2/5

Common OCD symptoms and how they manifest

Checking: the obsession or thoughts focus on some harm coming from things not being as they should, which usually centre around the theme of safety. For example, the obsession is “the building will burn down”, therefore the compulsion is checking that the oven is switched off.

Contamination: the obsession is focused on the presence of germs, dirt or harmful bacteria and how this will impact the person and/or their loved ones. For example, the obsession is “the floor is dirty; me and my family will get sick and die”, the compulsion is repetitive cleaning.

Orderliness: the obsession is a fear of sitting with uncomfortable feelings, or to prevent harm coming to oneself or others. Objectively there appears to be no logical link between the obsession and compulsion. For example,” I won’t feel right if the jars aren’t lined up” or “harm will come to my family if I don’t line up all the jars”, so the compulsion is therefore lining up the jars.

Intrusive thoughts: the intrusive thought is usually highly distressing and repetitive. Common examples may include thoughts of perpetrating violence towards others, harming others, or questions over one’s character or deeds, usually in conflict with the person’s true values. An example would be: “I think I might hurt my family”, which in turn leads to the compulsion of avoiding social gatherings.

Hoarding: the intrusive thought is the overvaluing of objects or possessions, while the compulsion is stashing or hoarding these items and refusing to let them go. For example, “this newspaper may come in useful one day”, therefore, the compulsion is hoarding newspapers instead of discarding them the next day.

Source: Dr Robert Chandler, clinical psychologist at Lighthouse Arabia

Safety 'top priority' for rival hyperloop company

The chief operating officer of Hyperloop Transportation Technologies, Andres de Leon, said his company's hyperloop technology is “ready” and safe.

He said the company prioritised safety throughout its development and, last year, Munich Re, one of the world's largest reinsurance companies, announced it was ready to insure their technology.

“Our levitation, propulsion, and vacuum technology have all been developed [...] over several decades and have been deployed and tested at full scale,” he said in a statement to The National.

“Only once the system has been certified and approved will it move people,” he said.

HyperloopTT has begun designing and engineering processes for its Abu Dhabi projects and hopes to break ground soon. 

With no delivery date yet announced, Mr de Leon said timelines had to be considered carefully, as government approval, permits, and regulations could create necessary delays.

Company Profile

Name: HyveGeo
Started: 2023
Founders: Abdulaziz bin Redha, Dr Samsurin Welch, Eva Morales and Dr Harjit Singh
Based: Cambridge and Dubai
Number of employees: 8
Industry: Sustainability & Environment
Funding: $200,000 plus undisclosed grant
Investors: Venture capital and government

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