The government expects to achieve estimated public revenues of Dh90.6 billion, of which Dh85.1 billion have been allocated to the budget, and Dh5.5 billion to the general reserve. Image Credit: Supplied

Dubai: His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, has approved the emirate's budget for 2024 to 2026, which allocates Dh246.6 billion of expenditure. Sheikh Mohammed also approved Law No. (20) Of 2023 for the general budget for the fiscal year 2024, the Dubai Media Office announced on Monday.

The Dubai government expects to achieve estimated public revenues of Dh90.6 billion, of which Dh85.1 billion have been allocated to the budget and Dh5.5 billion to the general reserve in 2024. The government has earmarked Dh79.1 billion for spending next year.

Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Crown Prince of Dubai and Chairman of The Executive Council of Dubai said, "Guided by the vision of Sheikh Mohammed, the new budget will play an instrumental role in achieving our goals to double the city's GDP and propel it into the ranks of the world's top three urban economies over the next decade."

"The budget emphasises support for key sectors vital to the future and the emirate's transition into a new phase of dynamic growth driven by digital and knowledge-based innovation," said Sheikh Hamdan.

"It will also support our efforts to nurture homegrown entrepreneurship and create a high-growth environment for all sectors. Furthermore, the financial sustainability, competitiveness and transparency embedded in this budget will make Dubai even more appealing to investors and businesses worldwide seeking new opportunities," said the Crown Prince of Dubai.

The financial plan for the next three years aims to continue stimulating entrepreneurship, attracting more foreign investment, promoting social welfare and consolidating the emirate's position as a leading investment hub. It supports investment in fields like space research, digitisation and artificial intelligence, said the Dubai Media Office.

'Green procurement programme'

Arif Abdulrahman Ahli, Executive Director of Planning and General Budget Sector at DOF, said, "An expected operating surplus of 16 per cent of total revenues ensures that Dubai maintains high levels of financial sustainability."

Furthermore, the Department of Finance seeks to develop government spending efficiency programmes by activating the Unified and Green Procurement programmes and stimulating partnerships with the private sector. "DOF has also launched the Program and Performance Budget Development plan, which will link strategic planning with financial planning," he added.

The 2024-2026 financial plan underscores Dubai's commitment to fostering entrepreneurship, attracting foreign investment, enhancing social welfare, and cementing its status as a hub for innovation and opportunity. Image Credit: Supplied

Moreover, the DOF's decision to set up the government smart service fee collection programme has yielded a 22 per cent growth in smart collection via digital channels in 2022, compared to the previous year, said Jamal Hamed Al Marri, Executive Director of Central Accounts Sector.

Al Marri said the emirate's government has become one of the first local governments to reduce reliance on cash collection. "The Financial Data platform contributes to making financial data available to government entities, corporates and individuals, which in turn contributes to increasing the emirate's competitiveness," he added.

General Reserve

The DOF's Director General affirmed the Dubai government's commitment to adopt disciplined financial policies. "This has led to establishing a general reserve from annual revenues set to reach around Dh20.6 billion as planned for the three years 2024-2026. This is in addition to what is decided by Dubai's Supreme Fiscal Committee in terms of reserving annual surpluses, which contribute to achieving financial sustainability and enhance the financial position of the emirate," Al Saleh said.

"DOF expects to achieve an operating surplus of up to 3.3 per cent of Dubai's GDP during the 2024-2026 financial plan in order to establish the foundations of the emirate's financial sustainability." Al Saleh concluded.

Sectoral distribution of expenditures in 2024
> 42% on infrastructure, including roads, tunnels, bridges, transportation, sewage stations, parks, renewable energy sources and waste treatment facilities.

> 34% on social development, including health, education, scientific research, housing, caring for needy families and women and children, preparing youth, developing sports, caring for senior citizens and retirees, as well as caring for people of determination

> 19% on the security, justice and safety sector

> 5% on supporting the public services sector, government excellence, creativity, innovation and scientific research

Expenditures in 2024

Dubai has earmarked an estimated Dh79.1 billion for spending next year, signalling the emirate's commitment to invigorate the overall economy in line with the Dubai Strategic Plan 2030 development project and the Dubai Economic Agenda D33.

Abdulrahman Saleh Al Saleh, Director General of the Department of Finance (DOF) for the Government of Dubai, said, "The announcement of expenditures amounting to Dh79.1 billion in the 2024 fiscal year budget sends a positive message to the business community that Dubai is pursuing an expansionary financial policy, which adds great confidence to the emirate's economy and contributes to attracting more direct investments."

Expenditure breakdown

  • Salaries and wages: 26%
  • Grants and government support expenditures: 23%
  • General and administrative expenditures: 24%
  • Construction projects: 8%
  • Hedging against global crises: 8%
  • Debt-service ratio: to not exceed 7% of total expenditure