The last CO Update reported plans in UAE to introduce conscription. This has now begun. Conscripts start at age 17, with high school students who have failed their last year of schooling delaying their conscription until they have completed final exams in the next academic year. The military training centres for conscripts can accommodate between 5,000 and 7,000 people. Conscription began on July 13.
Conscription for high school graduates is nine months, whilst non-graduates are meant to stay in the military for two years. Women are also encouraged to 'volunteer', though it is not obligatory. They will be trained in the Khawla bint Al Azwar Military School for women. The army are selling the opportunity to women as a chance to develop leadership skills, build team spirit and enhance self-confidence.
The government have given threats from Iran as the justification for introducing obligatory military service.
UAE have been investing in their army and navy in recent years. According to the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute, the UAE was the world's ninth-largest arms importer during the period between 2008 and 2012.
The National, UAE, Women’s military college prepares for first batch of UAE national service recruits, August 17, 2014
Oil price, Does UAE Conscription Law Signal the End of the Dream?, 5 August 2014
The National, UAE, 5,000 young Emiratis to form first batch of military service conscripts, 20 July 2014
World Tribune, UAE institutes military draft as Iran’s shadow grows, 16 July 2014