Emiratis are casting their votes today, the main day of the Federal National Council (FNC) elections, to select 20 candidates for the 40-member FNC. This is the first time that Emiratis have been able to vote online, and many have shared their joy at being able to participate in the election in this new way across 24 voting centres nationwide.

Voting started at 8am and will end at 8pm, amidst imprssive turnout from members of electoral colleges to cast their votes. The preliminary results are scheduled to be announced this evening and the final results tomorrow, October 8.

The National Elections Committee has confirmed that all election centers and the digital infrastructure of the voting system are ready, and that voters can vote easily. Voters are asked to leave the election center after completing the voting process, to make room for other voters to cast their votes. Candidates, their agents and supporters are requested to refrain from practicing any forms of electoral campaigning on the day of the main election.

The National Elections Committee has also stated that the initial results of the 2023 FNC elections will be officially announced at the main election center in Abu Dhabi Energy Centre, after the full completion of the voting process on the main election day.

2023 Elections

This is the fifth federal election in the UAE's history. The election was a landmark event in the country's history, as it saw the highest voter turnout in any previous election.The 2023 election was the first to use a hybrid voting system that allowed voters to cast their ballots in person or online. The election also saw the introduction of a number of new measures to make the voting process more accessible and transparent. These measures included the establishment of a dedicated website and mobile app for voters, as well as the use of electronic voting machines.

Here are the main highlights of the country's five parliamentary elections hitherto:

-2006 elections:
This election saw the victory of the first Emirati woman to the Federal National Council, while 8 women were appointed to fill the woman's quota of 22.5% of the FNC seats, one of the highest percentages in the world.

- 2011 elections:
This election saw the amendment of the minimum number of members of the electoral bodies to not less than three hundred times the number of representatives of each emirate in the FNC, with no upper limit on the number of members of these bodies.

-2015 elections:
This election saw the introduction of early voting for the first time, lasting three days. It also saw the submission of only one appeal against the results of the initial polling and counting process.

-2019 elections:
This election saw an increase of 48.5% in the number of voters compared to the previous cycle.

-2023 elections:
This election saw the introduction of a hybrid voting system, allowing for remote and electronic voting to facilitate the process of vote counting.