The Speaker was elected by secret ballot and an absolute majority of those present….reports Asian Lite News
Saqr Ghabash was re-elected as the Speaker of the Federal National Council (FNC) by a unanimous vote during the first procedural session of the new legislative term, which took place at the FNC’s headquarters in Abu Dhabi yesterday.
In his speech, Ghobash said, “My dear brothers and sisters, I am deeply grateful for the honour you have given me by electing me as the speaker of this respected council. I assure you that I will do my best, with Allah Almighty’s help and your support, to meet your expectations and achieve our national goals and dreams for more progress, political participation, and positive collaborations with the executive authority.”
“Our guiding principle for this term is to respect the diversity and complexity of opinions, balance the will of the majority with the reality of our situation, and listen to the views of the minority with understanding and appreciation. We aim to consider different perspectives that deserve respect and recognition. This will be the basis of our work and our interactions with each other and with others, led by the Ministry of State for Federal National Council Affairs which is headed by Abdul Rahman bin Mohammad bin Nasser Al Owais, Minister of Health and Prevention and Minister of State for Federal National Council Affairs. He has a great executive team led by Tariq Lootah, Under-Secretary of the Ministry, and we will continue to work with them in the best possible way with respect and goodwill,” he added.
The session began with the recitation of the Federal Decree issued by President His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan. The Decree No. 165 for the year 2023, invited the Federal National Council to convene. The Secretary-General of the FNC, Dr. Omar Abdul Rahman Al Nuaimi, also read Decree No. 164 for the year 2023, which announced the members of the Council for the 18th term.
The FNC members then took the constitutional oath. The Speaker was elected by secret ballot and an absolute majority of those present, as per Article 84 of the Constitution and Articles 30 and 36 of the FNC’s internal regulations.
The Minister of Health and Prevention and the Minister of State for Federal National Council Affairs addressed the FNC members: “Welcome to this historic dome, where we begin the first regular legislative term of the 18th legislative session of the Federal National Council. I am honoured to speak to you today. I congratulate you all for being chosen by our wise leadership, who appointed half of you while the UAE’s people elected the other half in the fifth electoral session last month. I also congratulate Saqr Ghobash for his re-election as the FNC Speaker.”
Dubai Ruler Approves Dh246.6B Budget
In his capacity as Ruler of Dubai, His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE, has approved the Government of Dubai’s general budget for the fiscal cycle of 2024-2026, with total expenditures of AED246.6 billion.
His Highness the Ruler of Dubai also approved Law No. (20) of 2023 regarding the General Budget of the Dubai Government for the Fiscal Year 2024, with expenditures estimated at AED79.1 billion, which reflects the emirate’s economic recovery and boosts its ambitions to stimulate the macro-economy and support the objectives of the Dubai Strategic Plan 2030 development project as well as the Dubai Economic Agenda “D33”.
H.H. Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Crown Prince of Dubai and Chairman of The Executive Council of Dubai, said: “The 2024-2026 budget charts a financial roadmap for accelerating our ambitions to foster exponential economic growth and consolidate Dubai’s position as a global economic powerhouse. Guided by the vision of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, the new budget will play an instrumental role in achieving our goals to double the city’s GDP and propel it into the ranks of the world’s top three urban economies over the next decade. At the same time, the budget reflects our commitment to harmoniously balance the highest growth ambitions with economic stability, underpinned by prudent financial policies.”
“Reflecting the leadership’s progressive vision, the budget emphasises support for key sectors that are vital to the future and the emirate’s transition into a new phase of dynamic growth driven by digital and knowledge-based innovation. It will also support our efforts to nurture homegrown entrepreneurship and create a high-growth environment for all sectors. Furthermore, the financial sustainability, competitiveness and transparency embedded in this budget will make Dubai even more appealing to investors and businesses from across the world seeking new opportunities. The new budget provides the perfect springboard for Dubai to realise its aspirations for building a resilient and prosperous tomorrow for the city and its people,” H.H. further said.
The financial plan for the next three years (2024-2026) confirms Dubai’s determination to continue developing and stimulating entrepreneurship, attracting more foreign investment, promoting social welfare and consolidating the emirate’s position as a land of opportunity and innovation. It also demonstrates Dubai’s vision for the future by supporting fields like space research, digitisation and artificial intelligence.
Abdulrahman Saleh Al Saleh, Director General of the Department of Finance (DoF) for the Government of Dubai, said: “The announced budget cycle represents a flexible and developable financial plan that will achieve financial sustainability for the government and increase competitiveness and transparency, which in turn will advance Dubai’s attractiveness for foreign investments.”
“The budget for the fiscal year 2024, which was approved with total expenditures of AED79.1 billion, meets the requirements of the objectives of both Dubai Strategic Plan 2030 and Dubai Economic Agenda D33. It also works to achieve the vision of H.H. Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Crown Prince of Dubai and Chairman of The Executive Council, who directed us to increase government support for the sectors of social development, citizen housing, government work development, government digitalisation, scientific research, institutional agility, and global competitiveness enhancement,” added Al Saleh.
As a result of the emirate’s rapid and efficient recovery procedures from the consequences of the global pandemic, the Dubai government expects to achieve estimated public revenues of AED90.6 billion, of which AED85.1 billion have been allocated to the budget, and AED5.5 billion to the general reserve.
Al Saleh said: “The announcement of expenditures amounting to AED79.1 billion in the 2024 fiscal year budget sends a positive message to the business community that Dubai is pursuing an expansionary financial policy, which adds great confidence to the emirate’s economy and contributes to attracting more direct investments.
Salaries and wages constitute 26% of total government expenditures, and grants and government support expenditures constitute 23%, while 24% of total expenditures have been allocated to general and administrative expenditures.
Despite the completion of many strategic projects, the activation of the public-private partnership law, and the development of project financing through long-term financing means the government has allocated 8% of total expenditures to construction projects. This sends a strong signal to the private sector about Dubai’s determination to continue developing its infrastructure and delivering more strategic development projects.
A total of 34% of total government expenditures of the 2024 budget goes to the social development sector in the areas of health, education, scientific research, housing, caring for needy families and for women and children, preparing youth, developing sports, and caring for senior citizens and retirees, as well as caring for people of determination.
Dubai government has allocated 19% of total expenditures to the security, justice and safety sector, to further develop it and enhance its ability to perform professionally and proactively, until it has become one of the sectors that the emirate boasts on the global stage.