The UAE cabinet has approved a zero-deficit federal budget of AED 180 billion for the next three years (2019-2021). The 2019 budget was approved at a total value of AED 60.3 billion, allocated to various sectors with a focus on those directly linked to citizens’ well-being, health, and education. The budget includes 42.3 percent for community development, 17 percent for education development, and 7.3 percent for healthcare services.
In 47 years, the UAE's budget has increased more than 300-fold from AED 200 million in 1972 to AED 60.3 billion in 2019. This has been accomplished through optimal distribution, efficient use of resources, and maintaining a balance between revenue and expenditures.
The federal budgeting process consists of five phases, namely: planning, preparation, reviewing, approval and execution.
Budget expenses and allocations are distributed to the six following sectors: Social development, social benefits, infrastructure and economic resources, government affairs, financial assets and investments, and other federal expenses.
Frame and steps
The financial year lasts from January to December. During the third month of the present financial year, MoF issues a circular that specifies the necessary steps for the preparation of next year's draft budget. This circular includes budget cap, approved strategic objectives, indicators, revenue forecast and the deadline for the federal entities to submit a draft budget to MoF.
Each federal entity determines its programmes, plans and Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) according to the strategic plan approved by the Cabinet within the budget cap. Entities submit their initial forecasts for revenue and expenses allocated to chapters, line items, programmes and activities agreed upon, along with performance measures and efficiency indicators.
After this, MoF carries out the following steps:
- It prepares an annual draft budget law.
- It prepares a draft resolution of the medium-term plan.
- It submits both drafts to the Cabinet for discussion and prepares them for final approval.
- It submits the draft law for the federal budget and the autonomous budgets to the Federal National Council (FNC) two months prior to the beginning of the fiscal year. This is to enable FNC to discuss and provide feedback on the draft.
- It submits draft law accompanied with FNC's feedback to the Supreme Council (SC).
- It informs all federal authorities about their allocations upon the issuance of budget law.
Read more about the federal budget's frame and steps.
MoF issues quarterly financial performance reports on the execution of the federal budget, along with final account summaries in the annual detailed reports of expenses and revenues.
Additionally, MoF issues a set of files that includes decrees, laws, circulars and manuals of the rules governing budgeting, preparing final accounts, closure of budgets, as well as all other means that ensure the provision of federal government financial resources management tools that ensure transparency and security of the financial system in accordance with best practices.
Refer to the reports on budget execution.
Read the figures relating to growth of federal budget over the years.
Ministry of Finance has introduced eDirham as a mode of payment. It is a card that looks like a regular bank debit or credit card and functions almost like them.
Users can load the cards with as much money as the type of card permits and use it to make payments. All eDirham can be used to pay for governmental and non-governmental services in the UAE. However, worldwide, only some cards can be used to pay for products and services; the card can be used while buying products and services from eDirham G2 merchants.
eDirham can be used to make payments over the counter and on the internet. It can also be used to withdraw cash.
eDirham is available in the following types: red, blue, green, silver and gold. Every card has distinct features. Some cards are co-branded with Visa, the payments technology company. All cards have the standard security features.
The federal government revenue collected through eDirham reached more than AED 2 billion in the first quarter of 2016, up by 4.2 per cent from AED 1.92 billion in the first quarter of 2015.
You can obtain eDirham cards from through the official website of eDirham or through the branches of National Bank of Abu Dhabi.