The Presidency and Premiership of the United Arab Emirates is de facto hereditary to the Al Nahyan clan of Abu Dhabi and the Al Maktoum clan of Dubai. The Supreme Council, consisting of the rulers of the seven emirates, also elects the Council of Ministers, while an appointed forty-member Federal National Council, drawn from all the emirates, reviews proposed laws.
There is a federal court system for all emirates except Dubai and Ras al-Khaima; all emirates have both secular and Islamic law for civil, criminal, and high courts. Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan was the union’s president from the nation’s founding until his death on 2 November 2004. The Federal Supreme Council elected his son, Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, president the next day.