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Dubai unveils $56bn budget for 2023-25; big spend on housing

DUBAI, December 8, 2022

In his capacity as Dubai ruler, HH Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE, has approved the emirate's general budget for the fiscal cycle of 2023-2025, with total expenditures of AED205 billion ($56 billion).
 
The budget meets Dubai’s aspirations and confirms its determination to continue developing and stimulating entrepreneurship, attracting more foreign investment, promoting social welfare and consolidating the emirate's position as a land of opportunity and innovation, reported Wam.
 
The financial plan for the next three years (2023-2025) shows the government's commitment to providing the highest economic stability and stimulating growth across the emirate’s business sectors. The plan also gives a clear picture of the government's economic goals during this period, and supports medium-term planning for various economic sectors, stated the report.
 
The government’s total expenditures for the 2023 fiscal year are estimated at AED67.5 billion, which reflects Dubai's economic recovery and boosts its ambitions to stimulate the macro-economy and support the objectives of the Dubai Strategic Plan 2030 it added.
 
In its 2023 budget, Dubai continues to focus on social services and the development of the health, education and culture sectors. 
 
The budget also places high priority on the housing sector through Dubai’s Housing Programme as part of a plan for the next 20 years. The budget is also focused on developing the social benefits fund to support families, people of determination and people with limited income.
 
Abdulrahman Saleh Al Saleh, Director-General of the Department of Finance (DoF) for the Government of Dubai, said the general budget cycle for the 2023-2025 period provides a base for enhancing financial sustainability and stimulating entrepreneurship in the emirate.
 
"It sends a strong pro-growth message to Dubai’s business sectors, and reflects the emirate's focus on developing its financial plan annually in line with global developments," stated Al Saleh. 
 
"The emirate seeks to provide economic incentives to attract investments, enhance the emirate's competitiveness, and contribute to the implementation of benefits and targets that form part of the Dubai Strategic Plan 2030 and beyond," he noted.
 
The 2023 budget responds to changes resulting from global economic inflation within the framework of the integrated plan to implement the Dubai Strategic Plan 2030, he added.
 
As a result of the emirate’s rapid recovery from the consequences of the global pandemic, the Dubai government expects to achieve estimated public revenues of AED69 billion, up 20% over the fiscal year 2022. 
 
The UAE and Dubai are among the countries and cities that have recovered the fastest from the global health crisis, which is evident in the increase in the volume of tourism flows and the high rates of air traffic and economic activity in the emirate.
 
Oil revenues represent only about five per cent of the total expected revenues for the year 2023, which confirms the financial sustainability of the emirate.
 
"The budget clearly shows the business community that Dubai is adopting an expansionary fiscal policy, which inspires confidence in the emirate's economy and contributes to attracting more direct investments," he added.
 
According to him, grants and social support expenditures account for 24% of the total budget expenditures next year. 
 
"The general and administrative expenditures make up a similar%age (24%), while the government has allocated 7% of total expenditures to construction projects," noted Al Saleh. 
 
"This sends a strong signal to the private sector about Dubai’s determination to continue developing its infrastructure and delivering more strategic development projects. This in turn strengthens the emirate’s ability to boost human development, extend greater support for citizens and residents and enhance infrastructure," he added.
 
A total of 34% of total government expenditures of the 2023 budget goes to the social development sector in the areas of health, education, scientific research, housing and care for needy families. Expenditures in this area represent an increase of four per cent over the 2022 budget, said the Wam report.
 
Dubai's continuous infrastructure development had a strong impact on the UAE's global competitiveness. Spending on infrastructure, including roads, tunnels, bridges, transportation, sewage stations, parks, renewable energy sources and waste treatment facilities, accounted for 41% of total spending.
 
The budget also shows the government's keenness to support small projects and entrepreneurship, and provide a nurturing environment for micro-enterprises, the report added.



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