Federal Law No. 6 of 2014, Concerning the National Military Service and Reserve Force aims to instil values of loyalty and sacrifice in the hearts of the citizens to defend the achievements and gains of the Federation, push forward the wheel of development and protect the homeland, its borders, its resources and gains and national security and stability.
According to the law, the service may be completed at the UAE Armed Force, Ministry of Defence, Ministry of Interior, State Security Service and other institutions identified by the Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces.
In addition, citizens who complete the mandatory military service will enjoy a range of benefits, including priority for taking up jobs in government institutions and private businesses, marriage grants, housing plots and scholarships.
The terms of the UAE national service
According to Federal Law No. 6 for 2014 on National Military Service and Reserve Force as amended, it is mandatory for all medically fit Emirati men to accomplish the national service after obtaining the approval of National and Reserve Service Committee of UAE Armed Forces' General Command.
According to the law, the service is optional for women, regardless of their education.
Pursuant to Resolution No.15 of 2022 to amend some provisions of Resolution No.6 of 2016 Regarding the Amendment of the National Service Period, the national service term for male recruits holding a high school diploma or its equivalent and above has been shortened to 11months, and for those who didn't complete their high school, the term will be three years.
According to the resolution, the duration of national service for female recruits is 11 months.
What the employers need to know
Working Emiratis will not be exempt and while serving in the military, time will be added to their end-of-service and pension benefits.
Federal and local departments, as well as private sector businesses will be obliged to allow their Emirati workers to enlist for military service. They also have to keep their jobs or similar jobs open for them once they complete the service. Their positions can be filled on a temporary basis until they have completed their services.
Failing to enlist for the national service
Citizens who fail to enlist for military service without valid reason until they reach 29 years of age will face a jail term of one month to one year, or a fine ranging between AED 10,000 and AED 50,000 or both. They will have to undergo the military service even if they exceed the age limit of 30.
Postponing the national service
The national service can be postponed only if a person:
- is less than 29 years old and is enrolled in a university, college, institution or training centre for a course the duration of which is two years or more
- has obtained a minimum of 90 per cent grade average or better in their General Certificate of Secondary Education
- reaching 18 years old and has not completed secondary education, provided the person is continuing morning classes education.
As an alternative, those who do not meet the conditions for performing national service can do administrative, civil or technical jobs according to their capabilities and for the same duration of service.
Exemption from the national service
The sole son of a family and medically unfit citizens can be exempt from military service. Those who sustain their parents or siblings with special needs and those serving jail terms would benefit from a temporary exemption.
Once the reason for temporary exemption is over, those people have to report to the authorities to undergo the military service.
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