The UAE cabinet has approved a budget of Dh48.6bn ($13.2bn at a fixed $1=Dh 3.6725) for 2016. Spending is down 1.2% on the Dh49.1bn ($13.4bn) budgeted for 2015 in nominal terms. But with inflation projected by the IMF at 3% in 2016, next year’s budget represents a 4%-plus real terms cut.

Unveiling the 2016 budget allocations, UAE Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai, Shaikh Muhammad bin Rashid Al Maktum said “our priorities will be geared towards social development, education and health,” in line with the UAE Vision 2021 of investment in human capital. Some 21.2% of the federal budget goes to education, 15.5% to social development, 11.1% to public services, and 7.9% to health – an aggregate of 56% for the four key sectors. (CONTINUED - 711 WORDS)