The UAE Cabinet has approved a budget of Dhs180bn ($49bn) over the next three years including a substantial increase in 2019 spending, the country’s vice president confirmed on Sunday.
Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid al Maktoum, who is also prime minister and ruler of Dubai, said the budget was projected to come without a deficit.
“Next year’s budgets will be the biggest in the history of the union,” he said, adding that 59 per cent of the total would be allocated for education and community development.
The budget for 2019 will be Dhs60.3bn ($16.4bn), an increase of around 17.3 per cent on last year’s Dhs51.4bn ($14bn).
Of this, 42.3 per cent has ben allocated for community development, 17 per cent for education and 7.3 per cent to develop the healthcare sector.
The 2019 figure would mean similar Dhs60bn allocations for 2020 and 2021.
“Citizens are our top priority. We have allocated the bulk of the budget to ensure [their] prosperity, health, education and security,” said Sheikh Mohammed.
“We have new tasks, we have a renewed vision, and the people have future aspirations, and no excuse today for ministers and managers in the implementation of their strategies to achieve the vision of the UAE 2021.”
The cabinet also approved a new federal law opening up the space sector to investment, research and partnerships.
Earlier this month, UAE President Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan approved a Dhs1.969bn ($536m) increase to the country’s budget for 2018.
This year’s budget, announced last November, saw projected spending increase 5.4 per cent on 2017.