Dubai’s Spending Soaring Next Year Ahead of Expo 2020

(Bloomberg) -- Dubai’s spending will surge next year as it prepares for World Expo 2020, according to the budget the government approved on Sunday.

Total expenditure is expected to reach 66.4 billion dirhams ($18.1 billion) in 2020, up 17% from 56.8 billion dirhams this year, according to figures released by the government’s media office. The added spending will fuel a spurt in gross domestic product, which is estimated to expand 3.2%, with the help of stimulus programs and projects related to World Expo 2020, which is due to open in October.

The Middle East’s commercial hub has gone through tough years recently as oil revenue dropped, with property prices down about a third since 2014 and the all-important tourism industry struggling to grow. In 2018 the economy expanded only 1.9%, its weakest pace in almost a decade.

More from the budget release:

  • Revenue is expected at 64 billion dirhams, up 25% year-on-year, with oil revenue accounting for 6% of total projected income
  • Non-tax revenue set to account for 60% of total expected revenue, tax revenue seen making up 29%
  • Salary and wage allowances to comprise 30% of total spending, grants and support expenditures to constitute 24%
  • The government has dedicated 8 billion dirhams to develop infrastructure projects and has announced for the first time a special reserve of 3% of total expected expenditure

Dubai’s ruler Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid released a budget framework for the next three years, with a total expenditure of 196 billion dirhams, the media office said.

©2019 Bloomberg L.P.

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