The United Arab Emirates is holding an election for an advisory council that considers federal laws and provides oversight for government ministries but rarely opposes the ruling sheikhs.

This year, 224,279 voters can cast ballots in races for 20 seats, while the emirate's rulers will pick the other 20. The millions of expatriates that make up the majority of residents are not eligible to vote.

It's not clear how many Emiratis there are in the UAE, though the United Nations suggests they represent a little under 20 percent of the country's more than 9 million people. Those eligible to vote would therefore represent a relatively small percentage of even the local population.

The seven-state federation includes oil-rich Abu Dhabi and the commercial hub of Dubai. Polls close at 8 p.m.