Dubai’s Ruler, Vice President and Prime Minister His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum recently approved the 2017 budget worth Dh47.3 billion, up from 2016’s Dh46.1 billion. The 2017 budget will see a deficit of Dh2.5 billion, representing a 0.6% of Dubai’s GDP.
The approved budget is in line with the Strategic Plan 2021, boosting infrastructure spending up by 27% compared with 2016.
The Dubai Government’s Financial Department’s Director – General, Abdul Rahman Saleh Al Saleh, notes, “The 2017 budget was adopted with a deficit of Dh2.5 billion, representing 0.6% of the GDP of the emirate. The deficit resulted from the reclassification of the budget and the 27% increase in infrastructure expenditure.”
The budget allocates 34% of the total spending for social development sector which includes health, housing and community and education development with 17% for infrastructure as the company prepares itself for Expo 2020.
Salaries and wages allocation represents 33% of total expenditure, with general, administrative, grants and support spending representing 47%, the Media Office reported.
The primary aim of the budget is to create around 3500 jobs, reflecting government keenness, and ensuring that society satisfaction is maintained at all times.
Esam R. Al Mazroui, the vice-chairman of Bahri & Mazroei Group, said, “The Dubai budget for 2017 announced by His Highness Shaikh Mohammad Bin Rashid Al Maktoum comes as a significant boost to the Dubai Infrastructure industry. With the government’s aim to create 3,500 jobs, we see positivity and a good outlook for the coming year. The vision and leadership of His Highness is once again materialising in an encouraging manner to enhance Dubai’s infrastructure and economy simultaneously.”
Meanwhile, oil revenues are estimated to go up by 6% of the total government revenues, due to economic growth via other strategic sectors. The total income for 2017 is also expected to drop, compared to 2016.
Furthermore, Al Saleh emphasised that the 2017 budget records a rise of 3% from expenditures approved for 2016 budget, reflecting Dubai Government’s expansion and its determination to support the local economy.
The budget restructuring and the new classification of entities resulted in a decrease in projected revenue figures for the fiscal year 2017 compared to 2016. “However, comparing revenue items for 2017 with 2016 makes it evident that the government expects an increase in fees revenues by 6%, due to the economic growth of the emirate and the growth achieved in sectors such as tourism and retail.”
The Media Office also stated that Dubai has managed to achieve financial sustainability by achieving an operating surplus of Dh2.9 billion, illustrating Dubai’s financial solvency. It also highlights its ability to finance all operational expenditures and deliver a surplus without the need for oil revenues.
Moving ahead the emirate will also count on the partnership between the public sector and the private sector in building modern practices in the management of financial resources efficiently and effectively.
“Over the coming years, this law [No. 22 of 2015] will contribute to the implementation of some public projects in partnership with the private sector, which will enhance creativity and innovation, raise the government’s performance rates, achieve government efficiency and increase transparency,” concludes Al Saleh.
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