|01-04-2015, 01:00 PM||#1|
Dubai approves first no-deficit budget since financial crisis
The emirate of Dubai approved on Saturday a budget of AED41 billion ($11.1 billion) for 2015, an 9% increase in planned expenditure compared to 2014.
37% of the budget was set apart for salaries and jobs and is expected to provide as much as 2,530 jobs according to the statement.
The approved budget will have an AED3.6 billion operating surplus. That constitutes the amount by which recurring revenues are projected to surpass recurring expenses.
The director general of Dubai’s Department of Finance said the increase in spending was aimed at communications, security, justice and safety, infrastructure, government services and social development.
Most notably, government revenues are expected to increase 11% in 2015 from 2014.
Government services revenue, which comprises 74% of total revenue, is set to increase 22%.
"The government`s success in achieving no-deficit balance is a result of applying prudent fiscal policies," said Arif Abdulrahman Ahli, executive director of budget and planning in the Department of Finance.
Oil-related revenues are expected to account for only 4% of total government revenue, a clear indication of how economic diversification in the emirate will help reduce the impact from declining oil prices.
The statement also affirmed that Dubai will maintain the size of infrastructure spending over the next five years, with main priorities being health, education, housing and community development.
Dubai follows Oman and Saudi Arabia in sticking to strong spending plans in the face of oil’s fall.
Dubai’s no-deficit budget is its first in six years and after the global financial crisis, and reflects solid domestic economic growth amid higher expected revenues from taxes and real estate transactions, away from oil dependence.
Real estate prices recorded double-digit increase over the past two years, despite the slowdown in recent quarters.
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