UAE Government approves Dh 60 bn budget for 2019

UAE Government approves Dh 60 bn budget for 2019

UAE cabinet has recently approved a federal budget of Dh 60 billion ($16.4 billion) for the year 2019,with special emphais on the need for education and social development. During the cabinet session, a budget of Dh 180 billion ($49 billion) was also approved for the years 2019 – 2021, which is the largest federal budget in history of the country.

Abu Dhabi – A cabinet session chaired by H.H. Sheikh Mohammed, the Vice President and Prime Minister of UAE and the Ruler of Dubai approved a federal budget of Dh 60 billion ($16.4 billion) for the year 2019. The cabinet took place at the Presidential Palace in Abu Dhabi and focused on achieving the targets set under Vision 2021 such as ensuring socio-economic development in UAE and a shift towards knowledge-based economy. The budget allocations were mainly dedicated on improving the living standards and ensuring prosperity, health, education and security of UAE citizens.

The cabinet prioritized social development programs, allocating Dh 26 billion ($7 billion) for the same. It was around 42.3 per cent of the total budget allocated for the year 2019. The budget allocated for Education was around Dh 10 billion ($2.8 billion), while the healthcare sector received Dh 4.4 billion ($1.2 billion). The budget allocations to these two sectors were unchanged at 17 per cent and 7.3 per cent compared to the previous year. In addition, a substantial government support will also be allocated for the security sector, however the budget was not specified during the cabinet.

UAE Business Setups – Promoting Virtual Offices & Innovative Projects

Following the budget approvals, a series of new policies were suggested which included changes to the country’s sponsorship system and new regulations that permit companies to operate without a physical office.

The Mohammed Bin Rashid Innovation Fund allocated an amount of Dh 2 billion ($540 million) to provide financing solutions to innovators, supporting them in transforming their ideas to projects. This also aligns with the UAE Vision 2021, contributing to the national strategy for innovation. Currently, UAE leads the most innovative country in MENA (Middle East and Africa) region and ranks 35th globally. The cabinet also provided a platform to launch eDMobile application, which allows customers to access e-Dirham services providing secure and effective cash payment channels. The application helps perform e-Payment transactions using multiple payment methods. ​

Impact of Federal Budget 2019

The budget is expected to support the GDP growth in non-oil sectors between the years 2019 – 2021. Sectors including education, healthcare, hospitality & tourism, retail and innovation, are likely to see a positive impact in mid-to-long term. The initiatives are also expected to boost socio-economic development initiatives and shift UAE from energy-based economy to a knowledge-based economy.

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Author: Waqas Siddiqui
As a research consultant, I am passionate about supporting businesses in successfully expanding in the UAE and Gulf region. I can be reached at for research inquiries.