Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid approves $49.3bn Dubai budget for 2022 to 2024

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Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid, Vice President and Ruler of Dubai, approved the 2022 to 2024 budget of the emirate that allocates Dh181 billion ($49.28bn) of expenditure, including Dh60bn set aside for this year.

The new budget supports the emirate's efforts to stimulate its macro economy and goals of Dubai Strategic Plan 2030, the Dubai Media Office said on Sunday.

The budget reflects the "determination to accelerate post-pandemic economic recovery" and achieve the broader goal of boosting entrepreneurship, and consolidate Dubai’s position as a land of opportunities and innovation.

"The Dubai government continues to consolidate the emirate's position as a leading global commercial hub and raise its international competitiveness by creating new growth opportunities for vital sectors," said Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed, Crown Prince of Dubai.

The budget for the fiscal cycle of 2022 to 2024 reflects the "fundamental strengths and stable base of the emirate’s economy, supports the realisation of its future economic aspirations, in addition to placing the emirate at the forefront of worldwide efforts to promote recovery”, he said.

Government wages and salaries will account for 34 per cent of total spending in 2022, Sheikh Hamdan, who also heads the emirate's Executive Council, said in a tweet on Sunday.

The emirate also allocated 24 per cent of expenditure to general and administrative expenses, 21 per cent to grants and government support, 4 per cent to capital expenditure while 6 per cent will go to debt servicing. Dubai plans to spend 9 per cent of total expenditure in 2022 on infrastructure projects while 2 per cent will be kept as special reserves.

In terms of sector allocations, 42 per cent of expenditure will be directed to the economic, infrastructure and transport sectors while 30 per cent will go to the social sector, according to the tweet.

Security and justice will account for about 23 per cent of spending this year while 5 per cent of total spending will be allocated to the innovation and creative sectors.

The 2022 budget continues to focus on developing social services and the emirate's healthcare, education and cultural sectors. Dubai has raised the value of housing loans to Dh1 million and set aside more than 4,000 plots and houses worth Dh5.2bn in the first phase of the housing programme for citizens, which is part of Dubai's broader 20-year Dh65bn plan.

"The priority will remain for citizens, their happiness and providing them with the finest services," Sheikh Hamdan said.

Public revenue this year is expected to reach Dh57.55bn, an increase of 10 per cent over the expected 2021 revenue, on the back of the rapid recovery from the pandemic-driven slowdown and the effective measures taken to curb Covid-19.

The government expects more than half of its revenue (57 per cent) this year to come from fees, 20 per cent from taxes, including VAT, 10 per cent from customs fees, 6 per cent from oil, 6 per cent from returns on government investments and 1 per cent from taxes on foreign financial institutions.

Dubai, the commercial and tourism centre of the Middle East, has made a strong rebound from the coronavirus-induced slowdown on the back of government measures to curb the spread of the virus, thereby strengthening the emirate's business environment.

It has introduced stimulus packages worth Dh7.1bn to support its economy and minimise the effects of the pandemic on businesses and people.

The emirate's non-oil economy continued to grow in November, with business conditions recording their sharpest improvement in two years, helped by a pick-up in new business and a recovery in international travel linked to Expo 2020 Dubai, according to IHS Markit, which compiles the Dubai Purchasing Managers' Index.

The property sector is also making a strong rebound from the pandemic-induced slowdown. Total property sales transactions in Dubai surged 88.37 per cent annually in the first 11 months of 2021, according to the latest data by the Dubai Land Department.

The emirate registered 55,640 sales deals worth Dh135.4bn from January to November 2021, making it the best year in terms of total sales since 2014, the data shows.

Expo 2020, new measures by the government – such as the expansion of the golden visa programme and visas for retirees – and a widespread vaccination campaign are supporting Dubai’s property market.

The tourism sector is bouncing back, too, with the emirate having received 4.88 million visitors between January and October 2021.

International visits during October alone stood at more than one million as Dubai’s tourism sector continues to chart a robust recovery.

The emirate's hotels sold 9.4 million room nights in the first 10 months of 2020, up 34 per cent compared with the same period in 2019, owing to a higher number of domestic and international visitors, according to the latest statistics released by the Dubai government's media office.

The number of new business licences issued by the emirate in the first 10 months of 2021 jumped 69 per cent to 55,194, Department of Economy and Tourism data showed.

E-commerce licences – which allow business activities online and across social networking accounts – also posted solid growth in the first half of last year, up 63 per cent at 3,243 from 1,989 a year ago.


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