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This budget reflects the emirate's financial sustainability, meets future aspirations, says Sheikh Hamdan. Image Credit: Dubai Media Office

In his capacity as Ruler of Dubai, His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE, has approved the government of Dubai's general budget for the fiscal cycle of 2023-2025, with total expenditures of Dh205 billion.

For fiscal year 2023, the government’s total expenditures are estimated at Dh67.5 billion, while revenue is estimated at Dh69 billion, a 20 per cent increase from the fiscal 2022 budget.

“This budget reflects the emirate's financial sustainability, meets future aspirations, stimulates the economy, takes care of society, and consolidates Dubai's leading position in the world,” Sheikh Hamdan Bin Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Crown Prince of Dubai and Chairman of The Executive Council of Dubai, said in a tweet.

“Dubai government continues its efforts to serve the interests of citizens, support business sectors and ensure providing the best quality of services to citizens and residents. We are determined to make Dubai the world’s best place to live, work and visit.”

In its 2023 budget, Dubai will continue 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 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.

“The three-year budget cycle sends a strong pro-growth message to Dubai’s business sectors, and reflects Dubai focus on developing its financial plan annually in line with global developments. 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 said.

Projected 2023 revenues

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 Dh69 billion. Oil revenues represent only about five per cent of the total expected revenues for 2023, pointing to the financial sustainability of the emirate and a diversified source of income.

Projected expenditures

Grants and social support expenditures account for 24 per cent of the total budget expenditures in 2023. The general and administrative expenditures make up another 24 per cent, while 7 per cent has been allocated to construction projects.

“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 Dubai’s ability to boost human development, extend greater support for citizens and residents and enhance infrastructure,” the Dubai Media Office said in a statement.

“Dubai is also keen to hedge against any situation that may result from global crises by allocating a special reserve of five per cent of the total expected expenditures in the budget. To enable this, Dubai has maintained a debt service ratio that does not exceed six per cent of its total expenditures, as part of its disciplined financial policy.”

Sectoral distribution

A total of 34 per cent of total government expenditures of the 2023 budget goes to the social development sector in the areas of health, education, scientific research, housing, care for needy families and women and children, reading, translation and programming initiatives, development of youth and sports, care for senior citizens and retirees, and care for people of determination. Expenditures in this area represent an increase of four per cent over the previous budget.

Twenty per cent of total expenditures has been allocated to the security, justice and safety sector.

Infrastructure, including roads, tunnels, bridges, transportation, sewage stations, parks, renewable energy sources and waste treatment facilities account for 41 per cent of total spending.

Five per cent has been allocated to support the public services sector, government excellence, creativity, innovation and scientific research.

“The 2023 budget meets the requirements of the Dubai Strategic Plan 2030 development project and beyond, and serves as a transparent statement of the emirate's stable financial position. The budget reflects the Dubai government’s disciplined financial policies based on international best practices. An operating surplus of 4.6 per cent of total revenues ensures that Dubai maintains high levels of financial sustainability,” said Arif Abdulrahman Ahli, Executive Director of Planning & General Budget Sector at DOF.