Op-ed by Hisham Al Gurg, CEO of Seed Group and the Private Office of Sheikh Saeed bin Ahmed Al Maktoum
The visionary budget announcement by His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, for the fiscal years 2024 to 2026 is applaudable. With a staggering allocation of Dh246.6 billion ($67.14 billion), this budget is set to propel Dubai’s already thriving economy to new heights. I say this based on a number of observations.
The strategic allocation of resources reflects Dubai’s commitment to not only rise above economic volatility but also to stimulate its macroeconomy. The ambitious goals set in the Dubai Strategic Plan 2030 and the Dubai Economic Agenda D33 are well supported by this budget, providing a solid foundation for sustained growth.
One of the most noteworthy aspects of the budget is its focus on fostering entrepreneurship and attracting foreign investment. With a keen eye on diversification, the financial plan aims to promote sectors such as space research, digitisation, and artificial intelligence, positioning Dubai as a global hub for innovation and opportunity. At Seed Group, we are particularly enthused about the positive impact this will have on our work with strategic partners from around the world and how this will help make doing business in Dubai easier and more impactful.
The allocation of Dh79.1 billion for the next year signals Dubai’s commitment to supporting businesses and creating a conducive environment for economic prosperity. This budget, therefore, serves as a testament to the emirate’s dedication to balancing growth ambitions with economic stability, underpinned by prudent financial policies.
In line with Dubai’s role as a commercial and trading centre, the budget also allocates a substantial 34% of total government expenditure to social development. This includes significant investments in health, education, scientific research, housing, and various initiatives aimed at improving the welfare of the community. Such investments not only contribute to the well-being of Dubai’s residents but also enhance the overall quality of life, making the city even more attractive to businesses and investors.
Moreover, the substantial investment in infrastructure, which accounts for 42% of total spending, underscores Dubai’s inclination towards sustainable development and further enhances the ease of doing business in the emirate. The emphasis on roads, tunnels, bridges, renewable energy sources, and waste treatment facilities aligns with an underlying mission to contribute to a sustainable and technologically advanced future.
As the government allocates 5% of total spending to support public services, government excellence, and scientific research, it sends a clear signal about Dubai’s dedication to fostering a culture of innovation and creativity. This commitment is especially vital in a rapidly changing global landscape, where innovation is the key driver of economic success.
The discipline embedded in the financial policies of this budget further creates a strong foundation for financial sustainability. The establishment of a general reserve and the commitment to achieving an operating surplus of up to 3.3% of Dubai’s GDP during the 2024–2026 financial plan showcase Dubai’s proactive approach to economic challenges.
It won’t be an exaggeration to say that the approval of the Dubai budget for 2024–2026 is a testament to the emirate’s resilience and forward-thinking approach and its efforts to make doing business in the city easy and empowering.
As Seed Group continues to work with strategic partners globally, we are confident that this budget will open new avenues for businesses and reinforce Dubai’s position as a global economic powerhouse. The city’s commitment to innovation, sustainability, and economic stability ensures that Dubai remains a land of opportunity for businesses and investors from around the world.
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