ABU DHABI -- The UAE Armed Forces signed several memorandums of understanding, MoUs, with a number of local companies to increase the privileges provided to all service people through a social initiative launched earlier this year.

The signing of the fifth and the latest batch of MoUs takes the total number of companies and businesses to 220, which have signed as partners for the Homat Al Watan or 'Homeland Protectors' discount cards, launched in February to ensure that the affiliates of the Ministry of Defence and the UAE Armed Forces can get benefits from these local companies and institutions.

The Armed Forces aim to increase the number of partners to 650 in the future, Major General Staff Pilot Ishaq Saleh Mohammed al-Balushi, Head of Supply Department of the General Command of the Armed Forces, said in a statement during the signing ceremony at the Armed Forces Officers Club in Abu Dhabi.

People who benefit from these privileges and discount cards include those currently serving in the UAE military, civilian affiliates of the Ministry of Defence, and retirees and veterans.

The cards are not bank or credit cards, and are recognised only by the companies and institutions registered with the armed forces. Only those who have spent at least six months in the military are entitled to these cards.

Card holders can draw benefits from airlines and telecommunications companies, car dealerships, insurance and car rental companies, hotels, schools, universities, sport clubs and wedding services, among others.

Al-Balushi also praised President His Highness Sheikh Khalifa Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai His Highness Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, and His Highness Sheikh Mohammed Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Abu Dhabi Crown Prince and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces, for supporting the Armed Forces and all nationals.

Source: Emirates News Agency