Dubai Budget Policy Turns ‘Expansionary’ With $15.5 Billion Plan

Dubai’s government expects to spend 57.1 billion dirhams ($15.5 billion) next year as it tries to mitigate the impact of the coronavirus, according to the budget approved on Sunday.

The program takes into account “the exceptional economic conditions of the fiscal year 2020 and the repercussions of the Covid-19 pandemic on the global economy,” according to a statement on the website of Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashed Al Maktoum, Prime Minister of the United Arab Emirates and ruler of Dubai.

Government revenue is expected to reach 52.3 billion dirhams, it said. The budget “sends a clear message to the business community that Dubai is pursuing an expansionary fiscal policy,” according to the ruler’s website.

The emirate revised this year’s budget revenue to 44.2 billion dirhams, according to the prospectus for its bond sale, down more than 30% from what it originally envisaged. It also decreased its projected expenditure to 56.2 billion dirhams for 2020, leaving a deficit of 11.9 billion dirhams.

Expectations and allocations:

  • 35% of spending to go toward salary and wage allowances
  • 9% of expenditure to maintain the volume of investments in infrastructure
  • 6% of expenditure will service public debt
  • 41% of spending earmarked for infrastructure and transportation
  • Oil revenue accounts for 4% of the projected income
  • Non-tax revenue, which comes from fees, makes up 59%
  • Tax revenue accounts for 31%
  • Government investment revenue represents 6%

The sheikhdom’s economy will likely contract 6.2% this year, the emirate’s media office said last week. It’s expected to see 4% growth in 2021.

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