UAE begins local election process ahead of October poll

Emiratis have until Friday to put their names forward to stand as candidates for the consultative chamber

UAE - Umm Al Quwain- Sep 24 - 2011:  An emirati woman cast his vote in a box at the Ministry of Culture during the FNC elections.  ( Jaime Puebla - The National Newspaper )
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Emiratis are staking their claim to stand as candidates in October's Federal National Council elections.

Nominations are being accepted in person at nine registration centres until Friday.

On its first day, the FNC received 162 applications, of which 58 were submitted in Abu Dhabi, 23 in Dubai, 29 in Sharjah, 12 in Ajman, 12 in Umm Al Quwain, 19 in Ras Al Khaimah and nine in Fujairah.

The FNC, the UAE's consultative parliament, seeks to scrutinise decision-making in the Emirates, hold ministers to account and give a voice to the public.

Council members are drawn from all seven emirates and represent the views and concerns of their electorate on important local issues.

How does the nomination process work?

Those hoping for a position on the council must meet certain criteria.

Potential candidates must be Emirati and a permanent resident of the emirate they hope to represent.

They must be at least 25-years-old at the closing of the nomination.

Nominees must also have a good reputation and not have been convicted of any criminal offence, the only exceptions being for “those whose reputations have been restored in the eyes of the law”.

Anyone whose name is listed in the electoral entities' lists is required to submit a nomination request through the link available on the committee's website,

Registration can also be done through the National Election Committee – uaenec app, which is available on Apple Store and Google Play.

The nomination process opened at 8am on Monday and will continue until 4pm on Friday. Registration centres can also receive nomination requests during the same period.

There is a registration fee of Dh3,000.

The preliminary list of candidates will be announced on Friday, August 25, and the final list will be announced on Saturday, September 2.

What is the FNC?

The FNC was established in 1971, with its first session convened by UAE Founding Father, the late Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan, the following year.

The parliament is made up of 40 members – 20 appointed directly by the Rulers of the emirates – with the remainder elected by public vote.

The FNC is responsible for passing, amending and rejecting federal draft laws.

It is also responsible for reviewing the Annual General Budget, international treaties and agreements and other federal affairs in line with the constitution.

In 2018, the late President Sheikh Khalifa directed that women occupy half of the seats of the council.

The ruling came into effect for the FNC's 17th legislative chapter, which began in November 2019.

Where are the registration centres?

Abu Dhabi

Abu Dhabi Chamber of Commerce and Industry

The Masoudi Council, Al Ain

Al Dhafra Municipality


Hatta Hall (C&D) at Dubai World Trade Centre


Consultative Council of Sharjah


Sheikh Hamid Bin Rashid Hall, Ajman Museum

Umm Al Quwain

The Ministry of Community Development

Ras Al Khaimah

Creative Youth Centre in Al Dhait


Fujairah Chamber of Commerce and Industry

When does the election vote begin?

The next round of voting for the Federal National Council will take place on October 7.

The NEC has announced there are 398,879 electoral college members eligible to vote, an 18.1 per cent increase over 2019.

The representation of women in the electoral college lists for 2023 has increased to 51 per cent, compared to 49 per cent for men, the NEC said, according to state news agency Wam.

Fifty-five per cent of the list comprises men and women aged 21-40.

Nearly 30 per cent was made up of people aged 21-30, and just over 25 per cent was made up of people aged 31-40.

Recently, authorities announced that voting will be possible remotely, both from inside and outside the Emirates. A hybrid system has been created that combines remote and in-person voting to maximise convenience to voters.

If people vote more than once, whether at polling centres or remotely, only their last vote will count.

Updated: August 15, 2023, 3:27 PM