Mohammed bin Rashid chairs UAE Cabinet meeting, approves Federal General Budget 2024-2026 of AED192 billion

Mohammed bin Rashid chairs UAE Cabinet meeting, approves Federal General Budget 2024-2026 of AED192 billion

ABU DHABI, 9th October, 2023 (WAM) – His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President, Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai, chaired the UAE Cabinet meeting at Qasr Al Watan, Abu Dhabi, in the presence of His Highness Sheikh Mansour bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Vice President, Deputy Prime Minister and Chairman of Presidential Court; H.H. Sheikh Maktoum bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Deputy Ruler of Dubai, Deputy Prime Minister, and Minister of Finance; and H.H. Lt. General Sheikh Saif bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Interior.

Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid said, “Today, I chaired the UAE Cabinet meeting at Qasr Al Watan in Abu Dhabi, during which we approved the Federal General Budget 2024-2026 totaling AED192 billion. The investment in social development and benefits represents 42 percent of the budget, followed by government affairs, at 39 percent. The rest of the budget was distributed to investments in infrastructure and economic resources as well as financial assets and investments together with other federal expenses.”

His Highness noted, “The UAE Government issued a decree on constituting the board of directors of the Financial Stability Council, headed by His Highness Sheikh Mansour bin Zayed. The Council’s board of directors include the Minister of State for Financial Affairs, the Governor of the Central Bank, the Chairman of the Securities and Commodities Authority’s board, the Chairman of Abu Dhabi Global Market’s board, the Chairman of the Dubai Financial Services Authority’s board, the Under Secretary of the Ministry of Finance, and the Assistant Governor of the Central Bank.”

His Highness Sheikh Mohammed added that the council’s goal is to protect the UAE’s financial system, develop financial infrastructure and ensure the stability of financial institutions in the country.

His Highness further expressed, “The UAE Government approved the establishment of the UAE Drug Corporation. The Corporation will be responsible for regulating and licensing the circulation of medical and pharmaceutical products, health care products, food supplements and cosmetics and agriculture products in addition to its role in developing our manufacturing capabilities in order to achieve national pharmaceutical security.

His Highness added: “Also today, we approved the Digital Government Service Policy which aims to measure the level of services, and ensure its efficiency.”

His Highness concluded: “During the meeting, we approved the restructuring of the Board of Directors of the UAE Space Agency, headed by Sarah Al Amiri. We also approved the signing of 13 international agreements with a number of international organizations and friendly countries.”

Budget Plan 2024-2026
The UAE Cabinet meeting approved the budget plan 2024-2026 totaling AED192 billion. Also, the Cabinet approved the Federal General Budget 2024 with a total of estimated expenditures of AED 64.060 billion, and estimated revenues of AED 65.728 billion. According to the budget, the UAE estimates growth in expenditures in the fiscal year 2024 will reach 1.6 percent with a growth rate of 3.3 percent in revenues, compared to the 2023 fiscal year.
Investments in social development and benefits represent a large proportion of the UAE Federal Budget 2024 at 42 percent, followed by government affairs with 39% of the budget.
The rest of the budget was distributed to the infrastructure and economic resources by 4 percent, and the financial assets and investments by 4 percent. Other federal expenses amount to 11 percent of the Budget.

Financial Stability Council
The UAE Government issued a federal decree-law regarding the establishment and organization of the Financial Stability Council. The Council’s board of directors include the Minister of State for Financial Affairs, the Governor of the Central Bank, the Chairman of the Securities and Commodities Authority’s board, the Chairman of Abu Dhabi Global Market’s board, the Chairman of the Dubai Financial Services Authority’s board, the Under Secretary of the Ministry of Finance, and the Assistant Governor of the Central Bank for Monetary Policy and Financial Stability.
The Council aims to promote and protect financial stability at the national level, in addition to strengthening the role of the financial system to promote sustainable economic development.

The UAE Drug Corporation
Also, during the meeting, the Cabinet approved a federal decree-law regarding the establishment of the UAE Drug Corporation. An independent federal corporation that regulates and manages medical products circulation in the country.
The UAE Drug Corporation aims to promote public health levels and strengthen the position of the UAE as a global hub for pharmaceutical and medical industries, enhancing research and development in the pharmaceutical and medical products sector, as well as attracting investments in the research and pharmaceutical industries.

During the meeting, the Cabinet approved a policy to classify Urban and Rural areas in the country. The Cabinet also approved the Digital Government Service Policy which aims to measure the level of services, its availability and responsiveness.

Additional Benefits for ICV Certified Industrial Companies
Also, the cabinet approved a decision to reduce the fees of the Ministry of Human Resources and Emiratisation services for industrial companies registered in the National In-Country Value (ICV) Programme.

As per the decision, a company will be classified as category one if it has a higher rating than 60% in the National In-Country Value (ICV) Program, after fulfilling all the obligations mentioned in the federal decree regarding the Regulation of Employment Relationship and its amendments, in addition to committing to the objectives of Emiratisation and demographic diversity.
The Cabinet adopted amendments on the fees for industrial property services, provided by the Ministry of Economy. The amendments included a 50 percent reduction of fees for all SMEs, as well as academic institutions services, which aim to attract SMEs and help promote their growth and expansion.

Media exemption during COP28 coverage

The UAE Cabinet meeting approved a decision to temporarily exempt media outlets from a number of federal fees during the 28th Conference of the Parties to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (COP28), from November 30 to December 12, 2023.

Exemptions included entry permits for equipment and cameras accompanying media professionals and photographers from outside the country, permits for ground and aerial photography, as well as exemptions on the fees for frequency spectrum services and wireless equipment.

More than 5,000 journalists are expected to attend Cop28, while the number of devices requiring the use of the frequency spectrum is expected to reach 2,500.

The Cabinet approved the executive regulation of the genetic fingerprint in the country. Also, it approved the executive regulations of the 'Federal Decree Law No. 41 of 2022 on Civil Personal Status for Non-Muslims', to regulate family matters related to marriage, divorce, inheritance and child custody.

The UAE Cabinet approved the executive regulation of the Federal Decree-Law No. 6 of 2022 on cooperatives. Regulations include specifying the conditions of forming the cooperatives, allowing non-citizens to obtain memberships, establishing the boards of directors, voting, listing and trading in financial markets, and other provisions.

The Cabinet adopted amending the Executive Regulation of Federal Law No. 7 of 2017 on Excise Tax.

The Cabinet approved several international agreements with a number of friendly countries, including the Republic of Austria; the Republic of Türkiye; the United Republic of Tanzania; the Republic of Kenya; Barbados; the Republic of Palau; and the Argentine Republic.

Also, the Cabinet approved an agreement with the World Customs Organisation on establishing a Regional Office for Capacity Building for the Middle East and North Africa.

The UAE Cabinet approved the establishment of the UAE embassy in the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela in the city of Caracas; and in Santo Domingo, the capital of the Dominican Republic.

The Cabinet also approved the UAE hosting of 3 international events including the General Assembly Meeting of the Euro-Arab Judicial Training Network; the International Civil Aviation Organisation’s (ICAO) Global Implementation Support Symposium 2025; and an international conference on military law.

Restructuring the Board of Directors of the UAE Space Agency

Also, the Cabinet approved the restructuring of the Board of Directors of the UAE Space Agency, Chaired by Her Excellency Sarah Bint Yousif Al Amiri, Minister of State for Public Education and Advanced Technology.

The Cabinet has also approved the restructuring of the board of directors of the National Communications Higher Committee, aiming at enhancing the UAE’s contribution to achieving the objectives of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) 1992.

The Cabinet approved the participation of the UAE in the Poverty Reduction and Growth Trust (PRGT) and the Resilience and Sustainability Trust of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and also reviewed a number of government reports for the year 2022 and the first half of 2023.