• Budget is worth $13bn
  • Education received 21.2 per cent of the federal budget
  • The budget comes amid declining government revenues due to the drop in global oil prices

The UAE cabinet has approved a balanced budget of AED48bn ($13bn) with an emphasis on social spending.

The budget was approved during a cabinet meeting on 25 October.

More than 50 per cent of the budget has been allocated to social development, education and health.

Education received 21.2 per cent of the federal budget, social development 15.4 per cent, public services 11.1 per cent and health 7.9 per cent.

Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid al-Maktoum chaired the cabinet meeting and said improving social services is a key part of the masterplan over the next six years.

“Investing in Emiratis and meeting their needs is the basis of government work and has a priority in the National Agenda to reach the goals of the UAE 2021 Vision. Our priorities in the 2016 budget will be geared towards social development, education and health. Maintaining the first rank requires having all resources that enable the Emirati people and [their] government to reach these goals,” he said.

The 2016 budget is 1.1 per cent smaller than the budget approved for 2015.

The slight decline in spending comes amid declining government revenues due to the drop in global oil prices.

Brent crude has dropped from $112 a barrel in June 2014 to less than $50 in October 2015.

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