The prime minister of the United Arab Emirates says the Gulf nation has begun the process of imposing mandatory military service for adult males.

Sheik Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum said on his official Twitter feed Sunday that high school graduates will be required to serve nine months, while those without a high school diploma must serve two years under the draft legislation.

He says the proposed law will further enhance the country's defenses, secure its borders and "preserve its achievements."

Sheik Mohammed is vice president and prime minister of the seven-state United Arab Emirates federation as well as the ruler of the emirate of Dubai. The UAE, which sits across the Persian Gulf from Iran, enjoys warm relations with the United States and other Western powers.