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Dh5.8b surplus budget for Dubai approved

Dubai: Dubai’s budget for the 2006 fiscal with a projected surplus of Dh5.8 billion has been approved by His Highness Shaikh Mohammad Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai.

The budget’s revenues for this year were estimated at Dh78.7 billion, while expenditures stood at Dh72.9 billion, reported WAM. The increase in revenues for the fiscal is estimated at Dh22.7 billion, while the increase in expenditures is expected to reach nearly Dh21 billion over the previous year.

Financial experts and analysts welcomed the budget, saying it reflected Dubai’s booming economic growth.

The budget included two basic sectors, the public and economic. Revenues of the public sector reached Dh19.8 billion, while its expenditures were estimated at Dh18.5 billion, with a surplus of Dh1.3 billion.

The economic sector’s revenues reached Dh58.9 billion, and its expenditures were estimated at Dh54.4 billion, with a surplus of Dh4.5 billion.

Last year, the total expenditure was projected at Dh52 billion against a net income of Dh56 billion, leaving a surplus of Dh4 billion.

Speaking to Gulf News, a cross-section of analysts said the budget indicates the financial stability of Dubai and sends out a strong message to oil producing countries to diversify their econ-omies. The transparency also sent out the right message to foreign investors about Dubai’s income.

“This budget indicates the continuing economic growth … The increased incomes show that the whole non-oil economy dominated by construction, manufacturing and banking sectors is doing really well,” Dubai-based economist Dr Mohammad Al Asoomi told Gulf News.

“This data should help the country to attract more foreign direct investment. It should also give more confidence potential investors. The economy is doing well and the information contained in the budget presents that picture,” he said, adding that the standard of living in Dubai has risen and the emirate’s GDP has enjoyed constant growth.

Other experts said the first-time disclosure of the accounts last year reflected a number of facts. It was a step towards the upholding of international financial standards of accountability and transparency, which are crucial elements for attracting investment.

Since Dubai has no foreign debt, the surplus would probably go to government reserves, the experts felt. It will also give a further push to develop the non-oil sector. This year’s budget will also prove a real boost for businesses.

“This kind of growth rate is reflective of an economic boom. What is good is that despite modest contributions from the oil sector, Dubai is presenting a healthy budget surplus,” said one analyst. Tourism and trade should be among key contributors to the revenue growth projections, he said.

Source: Gulf News

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