Dubai has approved a Dh56.6 billion (about $15.5 billion) budget for 2018 – 19.5% over the last year’s budget, and the highest ever for the emirate. This comes with a view to allocate an increased spending to bolster infrastructure, in line with Dubai Strategic Plan 2021 and future commitments, especially World Expo 2020, which is being hosted by Dubai. In fact, 43% of the budget has been devoted to the expo itself, including construction of the primary expo building and the supporting service projects, such as roads and the metro expansion.
Infrastructure alone accounts for 21% of the allocated budget, a 46.5% increase over the last year. A major portion of this would go in paving the way for the Expo 2020 projects as per a planned schedule, that includes the main expo building, and the supporting service projects, such as roads, bridges, sewage, transportation and metro lines, as well as the foundation to prepare the entire area for post-expo events.
This budgetary move is likely to facilitate growth across various sectors of the economy, especially infrastructure and tourism. It will attract foreign direct investment to Dubai, help create jobs, and even lift the regional stock markets higher. It will also have a long-term influence on the economy of Dubai. The projects built in years to come will continue to benefit the city, and the economy of the UAE as a whole in the not-too-distant future. Not only will it set up a robust internal infrastructure to foster trade and manufacturing, but it will embellish the country’s profile as a hub for commerce. Clearly, it falls in line with Dubai’s vision of economic diversification and reducing its GDP dependency on oil.
Mr. Abdul Rahman Saleh Al Saleh, Director General of Dubai Government’s Department of Finance (DOF), has stated, “Over the coming years, Dubai Government actively seeks to improve public budget performance continuously, in order to achieve financial sustainability, fulfil the emirate’s commitments, and realise the strategic objectives of Dubai 2021 Plan.”