Dubai announces new budget after Dh756m surplus

Last week, the Dubai municipality announced a budget surplus of Dh756 million for the first half of the financial year, up by 42 per cent compared to the previous year.

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DUBAI // The municipality has outlined its spending plans for the rest of the financial year after the announcement last week of a Dh756million surplus.

The total budget this year for capital projects is Dh1.88billion, of which Dh760m has already been distributed.

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"The city is going through a noticeable change," said Mohammed Mashroom, the director of the municipality's general projects department.

"We are working on many projects and the infrastructure is expanding.

"Even the way we approach, tackle and plan the projects is different."

The municipality said one of its next big projects would be the National Olympic Committee Complex in Al Nahda 1, which will provide a base for planning Dubai's future bid for the Olympic Games and a centre of operations for the future development of sport facilities.

The four-storey building will cover 116,000 square feet and will accommodate 21 sports associations.

"The budget can sometimes be flexible and the introduction of new projects that are not scheduled is not uncommon," said Saif Rashid Al Shamsi, the director of the municipality's finance department.

The civic body's excellent handling of its budgets has inspired other government departments, said Mohammed Al Khuzaimi, a senior accountant at the municipality.

"Each month since January, and upon request, we provide a detailed presentation to various ministries - Sharjah Transportation, Abu Dhabi Police and Al Ain Municipality, for example - on programmes to cut costs, rationalising and revenue development," he said.

Projects already completed this year include the Football Academy at the Al Shabab Sports Club, the Central Ambulance Complex in Al Warsan 3, an Islamic Institute and a building to house the Fishermen Association.

Continuing projects include the Muraqqabat Housing Complex, Port Saeed Plaza, the Hatta border check post and the Personal Status Court in Al Garhoud.

The court, which will be finished in a little over a year, will house 15 court chambers, a wedding hall, visiting centre, public services offices and hearing rooms.

It is designed to handle cases involving divorces, marriages, reconciliation and other family-based cases.

The Dubai Government approved a 2011 budget for the municipality of Dh3.57bn, of which Dh1.49bn has been spent, compared with Dh2.2bn in the first half of last year, said Mohammed Abdul Karim Julfar, the municipality's assistant director general.

Officials said the surplus, up by 42 per cent from last year, was a sign of economic recovery pointing to improved tourism trade.

They said cost-cutting measures had also contributed.