The UAE federal budget will grow by 3.4 per cent in 2010 to AED43.6bn ($11.9bn), according to the draft budget produced by the Finance Ministry.

Government spending will slow in 2010 following a 21 per cent increase in 2009. The Finance Ministry said it was forecasting a balanced budget, although it did not say what price it had assumed for oil in its forecast.

The government has allocated AED7.6bn for new infrastructure projects or 17.5 per cent of the total budget. It has also allocated AED1.8bn for developing existing infrastructure.

The federal government will spend 22.5 per cent, about AED9.8bn, of the budget on education. The Education Ministry will be allocated AED7.2bn, and the country’s universities will receive AED2.6bn.

The Health Ministry will receive an additional AED140m bringing its budget up to AED2.8bn. The Interior Ministry will be allocated AED200m for security spending and the Foreign Affairs Ministry will receive AED100m.

The budget includes a AED17.7bn contribution from Abu Dhabi and a AED1.2bn contribution from Dubai. A further AED20.8bn will come from federal ministries and AED4.6bn from government services.

The federal government will distribute the budget on 1 January 2010.