The UAE Cabinet on Monday allocated a budget for 2024 with total estimated expenses amounting to Dh64 billion ($17.4 billion) and total estimated revenue of Dh65.72 billion, as it approved the country’s Dh192 billion ($52.27bn) federal budget for 2024 to 2026.
The announcement followed the Cabinet meeting at Al Watan Palace in Abu Dhabi, which was chaired by Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid, Vice President and Ruler of Dubai.
“This reflects the UAE’s steadfast commitment towards sustainable development and investing in the welfare of its people,” Sheikh Maktoum bin Mohammed, Deputy Prime Minister, Minister of Finance and Deputy Ruler of Dubai, wrote on X.
“We are working to implement plans and projects that put the people of the union at the top of their priorities, because the UAE is a country of leadership and its people deserve the best.”
The revenue estimates for 2024 are 3.3 per cent higher, while estimated expenses are 1.6 per cent up from the last fiscal year, the Ministry of Finance said in a statement.
“The approval of the federal general budget 2024 comes in line with the budget plan 2022-2026,” it said.
Approximately Dh26.7 billion (42 per cent of the total general budget) was allocated to the social development and social benefits sector.
Within this, Dh10.2 billion (16 per cent) was allocated to public and university education programmes, Dh5.2 billion (8 per cent) to health care and community protection, Dh3.6 billion (6 per cent) to social affairs, Dh6.1 billion (10 per cent) to pensions, and Dh1.5 billion (2 per cent) to public services, the statement said.
The budget allocates about Dh25.2 billion (39 per cent of the total general budget) to the government affairs sector and Dh2.6 billion (4 per cent of the total) to infrastructure and economic resources.
Nearly Dh2.3 billion (4 per cent of the total general budget) was allocated to the financial investments sector, including Dh807.5 million allocation for the federal investment projects.
About Dh7.2 billion (11 per cent of the total general budget) was allocated for other federal expenses.
Last October, the UAE Cabinet approved the country’s federal budget for 2023 to 2026 with a total expenditure of Dh252.3 billion ($68.69 billion) and estimated revenue of Dh255.7 billion.
The UAE economy grew by 7.9 per cent last year, the highest in 11 years, after expanding 4.4 per cent in 2021, supported by its non-oil sector at a time when the country is advancing its diversification strategy.
The Emirates' economy grew by 3.8 per cent on an annual basis to Dh418.3 billion in the first quarter of this year amid its push for diversification, Abdulla bin Touq, Minister of Economy, said in August.
That was boosted by non-oil gross domestic product, which rose 4.5 per cent year-on-year to Dh312 billion.
The sharp bounce back from the pandemic-induced slowdown is driven by non-oil growth in the UAE, which Emirates NBD expects to climb to 5 per cent this year.
Overall GDP is expected to expand by 3.3 per cent this year and 4.3 per cent in 2024, UAE Central Bank data indicates.
The Emirates aims to double the size of its economy to Dh3 trillion by 2031, with a focus on boosting non-oil exports and the tourism sector.