Democracy Comes to UAE
"Elaborating on his historic decision which was announced on Thursday, Shaikh Khalifa said that the decision stipulates that the Ruler of each of the seven UAE emirates will form a local council which is to be at least 100 times as much as the number of its representatives in the FNC.
"That means for each FNC member, a local council in the concerned emirate will have 100 members.
"The local council will then conduct a poll to elect half of the representatives of each emirate to the FNC while the Ruler will appoint the other half."
So in other words, small bodies appointed by the rulers will have the power to elect half of the national assembly, while the rulers themselves appoint the other half. That actually ranks behind Saudi Arabia's municipal elections, in which all males at least got to vote, though unlike the Saudi councils this Federal National Council might actually meet.