Up to 21% of Dubai's 2018 budget has been earmarked for infrastructure investments, marking a 46.5% increase over corresponding values for 2017, it has been revealed.
Total expenditure worth $15.4bn (AED56.6bn) has been accounted for in Government of Dubai's 2018 budget, which is the largest public budget in the emirate's history.
HH Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Ruler of Dubai and Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE, approved the budget.
The investment value of Expo 2020 Dubai is estimated at $6.8bn (AED25bn), while the expansion of Dubai Metro's Route 2020 – also a key point of focus in the 2018 budget – is expected to be worth $2.9bn (AED10.6bn).
Accordingly, Dubai Government's Department of Finance (DOF) has reached the final stage of a $1.5bn (AED5.5bn) financing agreement based on the export credit guarantee system.
Posting a year-on-year hike of 19.5% , the 2018 budget is in line with Dubai Strategic Plan 2021's targets, and focusses on the requirements for Expo 2020 Dubai.
The increased value of infrastructure spending reflects the emirate's efforts to implement Expo 2020 Dubai projects according to a schedule that includes the site's main building, as well as support services projects such as roads, bridges, sewerage networks, and transport and metro lines, in addition to area preparation for post-Expo events and supporting tourism.
Dubai estimates public revenues will be worth $13.7bn (AED50.4bn) in 2018, a 12% hike over corresponding 2017 figures.
Commenting on the budget's items, Abdulrahman Saleh Al Saleh, director-general of Dubai's DOF, said: "Over the coming years, Dubai Government actively seeks to improve public budget performance continuously, in order to achieve financial sustainability, fulfil the emirate’s commitments, and realise the strategic objectives of Dubai 2021 Plan.
"Further, this aims to make the upcoming mega international event – Expo 2020 Dubai – one of the best in the history of Expo exhibitions, in line with the vision of our prudent leadership, aiming to make Dubai always ready to impress the world.
"[Expo 2020 Dubai] presents challenges that require us to focus on availing construction expenses needed for the mega infrastructure projects related to [the event]. Such projects will only benefit the success of the huge international expo upon launching in three years, but is also expected to serve the emirate for decades to come, especially in light of Dubai’s noticeable urban expansion towards the expo project area."
In the future, the Public Private Partnership (PPP) Law in Dubai is also expected to "contribute to the implementation of some public projects [...], which will enhance creativity and innovation [...and] enhance government efficiency", Dubai Media Office reported.