Sheikh Mohammed approves Dh192 billion federal budget for 2024 - 2026

He chaired a cabinet meeting at Qasr Al Watan in Abu Dhabi today


Issac John

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Published: Mon 9 Oct 2023, 5:11 PM

Last updated: Mon 9 Oct 2023, 10:31 PM

The UAE Cabinet on Monday approved a Dh192 billion Federal General Budget for 2024-2026, allocating a major share of the spending on social development and benefits.

His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, chaired the Cabinet meeting held at Qasr Al Watan, Abu Dhabi.

“The investment in social development and benefits represents 42 per cent of the budget, followed by government affairs, at 39 per cent,” Sheikh Mohammed said.

The rest of the budget allocation was distributed to the infrastructure and economic resources (4.0 per cent), and the financial assets and investments (4.0 per cent). Other federal expenses amount to 11 per cent of the budget.

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The federal budget for 2024 with a total of estimated expenditure of Dh64.06 billion, and estimated revenues of Dh65.72 billion was also given the go-ahead at the meeting. According to the budget, the UAE estimates growth in expenditures in the fiscal year 2024 will reach 1.6 per cent with a growth rate of 3.3 per cent in revenues, compared to the 2023 fiscal year.

Sheikh Mohammed said the government issued a decree on constituting the board of directors of the Financial Stability Council, headed by Sheikh Mansour bin Zayed Al Nahyan, UAE Vice-President, Deputy Prime Minister, Minister of the Presidential Court. The council’s board of directors includes the Minister of State for Financial Affairs, the Governor of the Central Bank, the Chairman of the Securities and Commodities Authority’s board, the Chairman of Abu Dhabi Global Market’s board, the Chairman of the Dubai Financial Services Authority’s board, the Under Secretary of the Ministry of Finance, and the Assistant Governor of the Central Bank.

Sheikh Mohammed said the council’s goal is to protect the UAE’s financial system, develop financial infrastructure, and ensure the stability of financial institutions in the country.

The government also approved the establishment of the UAE Drug Corporation. The corporation will be responsible for regulating and licensing the circulation of medical and pharmaceutical products, health care products, food supplements cosmetics, and agriculture products in addition to its role in developing our manufacturing capabilities in order to achieve national pharmaceutical security.

“Also today, we approved the Digital Government Service Policy which aims to measure the level of services, and ensure its efficiency,” Sheikh Mohammed said.

“During the meeting, we approved the restructuring of the Board of Directors of the UAE Space Agency, headed by Sarah bint Yousif Al Amiri, Minister of State for Public Education and Advanced Technology. We also approved the signing of 13 international agreements with a number of international organisations and friendly countries,” he said.

During the meeting, the Cabinet approved a policy to classify Urban and Rural areas in the country. The Cabinet approved a decision to reduce the fees of the Ministry of Human Resources and Emiratisation services for industrial companies registered in the National In-Country Value (ICV) Programme.

As per the decision, a company will be classified as category one if it has a higher rating than 60 per cent in the National In-Country Value (ICV) Programme, after fulfilling all the obligations mentioned in the federal decree regarding the Regulation of Employment Relationship and its amendments, in addition to committing to the objectives of Emiratisation and demographic diversity.

The Cabinet adopted amendments on the fees for industrial property services, provided by the Ministry of Economy. The amendments included a 50 per cent reduction of fees for all SMEs, as well as academic institutions services, which aim to attract SMEs and help promote their growth and expansion.

The Cabinet approved the executive regulation of the genetic fingerprint in the country. Also, it approved the executive regulations of the 'Federal Decree Law No. 41 of 2022 on Civil Personal Status for Non-Muslims', to regulate family matters related to marriage, divorce, inheritance and child custody.

The UAE Cabinet approved the executive regulation of the Federal Decree-Law No. 6 of 2022 on cooperatives. Regulations include specifying the conditions of forming the cooperatives, allowing non-citizens to obtain memberships, establishing the boards of directors, voting, listing and trading in financial markets, and other provisions.

The Cabinet adopted amending the Executive Regulation of Federal Law No. 7 of 2017 on Excise Tax.

The Cabinet approved several international agreements with a number of friendly countries, including the Republic of Austria; the Republic of Turkey; the United Republic of Tanzania; the Republic of Kenya; Barbados; the Republic of Palau; and the Argentine Republic.

Also, the Cabinet approved an agreement with the World Customs Organization on establishing a Regional Office for Capacity Building for the Middle East and North Africa.

The UAE Cabinet approved the establishment of the UAE embassy in the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela in the city of Caracas; and in Santo Domingo, the capital of the Dominican Republic.

Also, approved at the meeting hosting of three international events, including the General Assembly Meeting of the Euro-Arab Judicial Training Network; the International Civil Aviation Organisation’s (ICAO) Global Implementation Support Symposium 2025; and an international conference on military law.

The Cabinet also approved the restructuring of the board of directors of the National Communications Higher Committee, aiming at enhancing the UAE’s contribution to achieving the objectives of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change 1992.

The Cabinet approved the participation of the UAE in the Poverty Reduction and Growth Trust (PRGT) and the Resilience and Sustainability Trust of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and also reviewed a number of government reports for the year 2022 and the first half of 2023.

Media exemption during COP28 coverage

The UAE Cabinet on Monday approved a decision to temporarily exempt media outlets from a number of federal fees during the 28th Conference of the Parties to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (COP28), from November 30 to December 12, 2023.

Exemptions included entry permits for equipment and cameras accompanying media professionals and photographers from outside the country permits for ground and aerial photography, as well as exemptions on the fees for frequency spectrum services and wireless equipment.

More than 5,000 journalists are expected to attend Cop28, while the number of devices requiring the use of the frequency spectrum is expected to reach 2,500.


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