Dubai, Voters in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) were casting their ballots on Saturday to elect half the members of the 40-strong Federal National Council (FNC).

Some 478 candidates from the country's seven emirates are competing for the 20 seats up for grabs in the one-day polls.

The 20 other members will be appointed.

Nearly 338,000 of the Gulf nation's citizens are eligible voters, according to official figures.

Turnout at the 39 polling centers across the country has been strong since voting began at 8 am (0400 GMT), the official Emirati news agency WAM reported, according to dpa.

Local media showed voters casting their ballots with electronic machines.

Final results are expected to be officially announced by October 13.

Source: Saudi Press Agency

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