Parliament of the United Arab Emirates

Federal National Council
Type Unicameral
President of the Council Mohammad Al Murr
Since Nov. 2011
Seats 40
official website

The Federal National Council (FNC) (Arabic: المجلس الوطني الإتحادي‎, al-Majlis al-Watani al-Ittihadi) is the federal authority of the United Arab Emirates formed to represent the general emirati people.[1] The FNC consist of 40 members with advisory tasks in the house of legislative council. Twenty members are elected by the citizens of the UAE through the general election and the other half are elected by the electoral college and rulers of each emirate.[2][3] The FNC assembly hall is located in the Abu Dhabi, the capital of UAE.[4]

The National Election Committee (NEC) conducts the election and authorized to nominate the electoral college members any citizen can be selected as a member. The NEC was established in February 2011 by a consensus of the UAE Supreme Council and chaired by the Minister of State for Federal National Council Affairs. The NEC have the authority to lookafter the election of representatives from all the emirates of the UAE to the Federal National Council (FNC).[3]


The Federal National Council (FNC) was formed under the Provisional Constitution of the United Arab Emirates in 1971 as a permanent component of the country's governing structure, which also includes the Supreme Council, President, Cabinet and Judiciary.[1]

Over the last 38 years, the FNC has discussed hundreds of issues and draft laws concerning the people and economy of the country. According to the Constitution, federal draft laws first have to pass through the FNC for review and recommendations. Draft laws and amendments formed with help of specialized house committees are presented to the Council for discussion and later sent back to the Cabinet for consideration and approval. Throughout its history, the Council has influenced the Federal Government to draft laws. Original draft laws from the Cabinet were amended by the Council to suit the needs of the citizens which they represent.[5]

The FNC is responsible under the Constitution for examining, and, if it wishes, amending, all proposed federal legislation, and is empowered to summon and to question any Federal Minister regarding Ministry performance. One of the main duties of the FNC is to discuss the annual budget. Specialized sub-committees and a Research and Studies Unit have been formed to assist FNC members to cope with the increasing demands of modern government.[6]


All seats are based on population.

Emirate Number of Senators
Abu Dhabi 8
Dubai 8
Sharjah 6
Ras Al Khaimah 6
Ajman 4
Fujairah 4
Umm Al Quwain 4
Total 40


Not all UAE nationals are allowed to vote or run for office. Only 6,689 out of some 800,000 Emirati citizens in the country were eligible to take part in 2006 election. Those eligible were chosen by the rulers of the emirates.

Women are allowed to vote and run for office but there is no quota to ensure a set number of women get elected as there is in some other Arab countries. Over 14 percent of candidates are women. By the end of 2003, all forty members of the FNC were male.

Election officials billed the polls as a trial run they hoped will pave the way for universal suffrage in the coming years. Even then, however, only half of the FNC will be elected.[6]

In late 2006, half of the organization was elected.[7] These elections were seen as the first steps toward Emirati democracy.[8]

e • d Summary of the 16, 18 and 20 December 2006 UAE Federal National Council election results
Members Seats
Elected 20
Appointed by the rulers of the constituent emirates 20
Total 40

Among the 20 members chosen by the Electoral College, one woman was elected. Eight female members were appointed by the rulers of the 7 emirates. Each emirate had at least one female appointed, with the exception of Umm al-Qaiwain. Three of the females appointed were from Dubai.[9] The total amounted to 22.5% of the Council representing women’s significant expansion and participation in the UAE’s government.



  • September 2011 Election Results

External links

  • Official website
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