UAE Cabinet approves 2024-26 federal budget of $52.27bn

Cabinet also establishes Emirates Drug Authority to regulate pharmaceutical and healthcare products

The UAE Cabinet on Monday approved the country’s federal budget for 2024 to 2026 and appointed a new drug regulator. Wam
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The UAE Cabinet has approved a federal budget of Dh192 billion ($52.27 billion) for 2024 to 2026.

It also approved the Federal General Budget for 2024, with estimated spending of Dh64.06 billion and revenue of Dh65.73 billion.

The distribution for next year allocates 42 per cent of the budget to the development and social benefits sector, 39 per cent to government affairs and 19 per cent for the development of infrastructure and financial and economic assets of the federal government.

The meeting at Qasr Al Watan in Abu Dhabi was chaired by Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid, Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai.

Sheikh Maktoum bin Mohammed, Deputy Prime Minister, Minister of Finance and Deputy Ruler of Dubai, writing on social media, said the budget "reflects the UAE’s steadfast commitment towards sustainable development and investing in the welfare of its people".

"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," he added.

The UAE General Budget Committee met in June to discuss the draft general budget for 2024.

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.

Abdulla bin Touq, Minister of Economy, said in August that the UAE's 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.

That was boosted by non-oil gross domestic product, which rose 4.5 per cent year-on-year to Dh312 billion.

New drug authority

Sheikh Mohammed also said the UAE government has issued a law to establish the Emirates Drug Authority, which he said will be the independent federal regulator for pharmaceutical and healthcare products.

"This official institution is responsible for regulating and licensing medical and pharmaceutical products, healthcare products, nutritional supplements, cosmetic products, veterinary products and those related to agriculture," Sheikh Mohammed said, writing on X, formerly known as Twitter.

"The goal is to make the country a globally trusted hub for pharmaceutical and medical industries, develop national capabilities in drug manufacturing, promote research and development and attract leading investments in the pharmaceutical sector to enhance pharmaceutical security."

Sheikh Mohammed said the Cabinet issued a decree regarding the members of the Financial Stability Council, which will oversee the country's financial infrastructure and be led by Sheikh Mansour bin Zayed, Deputy Prime Minister and chairman of the Presidential Court.

"The council aims to enhance and ensure financial stability, foster co-operation among financial authorities in the country, develop financial infrastructure, and increase the financial system's contribution to economic development," he said.

Sheikh Mohammed said the council included the Minister of State for Financial Affairs, the Governor of the Central Bank, the Chairman of the Securities and Commodities Authority, the Chairman of The Abu Dhabi Global Financial Market, and the Chairman of the Dubai Financial Services Authority, among others.

The Cabinet approved a policy for the digital government services standards, which Sheikh Mohammed said aims "to elevate the quality of digital government services, ensure their availability and guarantee their reliability".

Sheikh Mohammed said the Cabinet also approved the restructuring of the Emirates Space Agency Council under the leadership of Sarah Al Amiri, Minister of State for Public Education and Advanced Technology.

Updated: October 09, 2023, 3:46 PM