The Federal National Council (FNC) has passed the UAE’s a federal budget of AED48.7bn ($13.3bn) for 2017.

Details of the budget were released in October when the UAE cabinet adopted the general federal budget for 2017-21 with total spending of AED248bn ($68bn) over five years.

For 2017, the budgeted spending will be AED48.7bn for 2017, which is slightly more than the AED48bn allocated for 2016.

The government says AED25.2bn, or 52 per cent of the spending in 2017, will be directed towards social services.

Spending on social services includes AED10.2bn for general and higher education; AED4.2bn for healthcare and the protection of society; AED4bn for pensions; AED3.2bn for community development; and AED1.6bn for housing.

The cabinet has allocated AED20.7bn, or 42 per cent of the budget, for government affairs.

Some AED3.3bn was assigned to federal schemes. About AED891m is for federal ministries’ projects; AED771m for Federal Authority for Electricity & Water (Fewa) projects; AED1.4bn for the Sheikh Zayed Housing Programme: AED13.5m for the projects of the Ministry of Education; and AED215m for police and civil defence centres, headquarters of naturalisation and residence, and scientific laboratories.

The government has also set aside AED2bn to support innovation through the establishment of the Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid al-Maktoum Fund to Finance Innovation. It will provide financing solutions for innovators and incubation support to turn their ideas into projects that will support the national strategy for innovation and achieving the goals of Vision 2021.

The UAE says it prepares a proposal budget with plans for every five years to improve the level of social services and upgrade the smart services of the government.