Sharjah ruler approves largest ever budget of $11.1 billion

Spending rose more than 16 percent year-on-year
Sharjah ruler approves largest ever budget of $11.1 billion
The new budget will support government departments in achieving their goals

His Highness Sheikh Dr. Sultan bin Muhammad Al Qasimi, Ruler of Sharjah, approved the emirate’s 2024 budget worth AED40.83 billion ($11.12 billion). This budget is the largest in Sharjah’s history.

The allocation for expected expenditure increased by more than 16 percent year-on-year. This aims to achieve financial sustainability and ensure social security and sustainability in Sharjah.

Sharjah’s ruler stated that the new budget will support government departments in achieving their goals. It will enable the implementation of various infrastructure and science projects, promote business and tourism, and achieve food security.

Objectives of increasing expenditure

The expenditure increase will support capital projects by 20 percent. WAM reported that approximately 26 percent of the budget was allocated to wages while 12 percent was allocated for support and relief.

Moreover, operating expenses recorded 25 percent for 2024, a 6 percent increase compared to last year. Whereas, loan repayments and interest accounted for 15 percent of the total budget this year.

In terms of sectors, infrastructure has largest share at 40 percent, a 26 percent increase compared to last year. Economic development came in next with about 30 percent. Meanwhile, the social development sector was given 21 percent of Sharjah’s budget.

Increased revenues

Allocations for government administration, security, and safety constituted about 9 percent of the budget. That is an increase of 41 percent compared to the previous budget.

Meanwhile, the budget expects revenues to rise by 5 percent annually this year. Operating revenues are expected to constitute 71 percent of the total revenue budget. That is an increase of 8 percent compared to 2023.

Capital revenues are expected to reach 11 percent, tax revenues to 9 percent, and customs revenues to 4 percent. Meanwhile, oil and gas revenues are expected to constitute 5 percent of the total revenue.

The 2024 budget aims to achieve the “highest levels of financial sustainability, efficiently manage government financial resources, enhance the emirate’s competitiveness in various economic, social and infrastructure fields, and support the government bodies’ financial resources, to provide government services according to global standards”, Sheikh Mohammed bin Saud Al Qasimi, head of Sharjah Finance Department, said.

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Sharjah’s growth

Al Qasimi added that the budget will enhance Sharjah’s strategic partnerships with the private sector and provide incentive packages.

Additionally, according to Al Qasimi, the budget also focuses on providing developmental and social funding to ensure economic growth rates will contribute to enhancing Sharjah’s position as a regional and global economic hub, attracting local and international investors.

Sharjah has been witnessing strong growth following the government’s measures to support businesses and residents to mitigate the effects of COVID-19.

The emirate’s gross domestic product (GDP) grew by 5.2 percent in 2022. This growth was driven by economic diversification efforts that fall in line with the emirate’s development strategy.

Sharjah’s Department of Statistics and Community Development said last May that it recorded AED136.9 billion in GDP earnings in 2022. Moreover, it recorded AED130.1 billion in 2021.

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