UAE projects small deficit, increased revenues

Half budget has been allocated for expenditures on health

DUBAI - The United Arab Emirates announced on Tuesday a 2012 federal budget showing a small deficit, increased revenues and only minor adjustments in expenditures.
Spending levels are projected at 41.8 billion dirhams ($11.4 billion) while revenue is estimated at 41.4 billion dirhams ($11.3 billion), leaving a deficit of just over $100 million, according to the official WAM news agency.
Spending for the current year was estimated at 41 billion dirhams ($11.1 billion) and income at 38 billion dirhams ($10.3 billion).
UAE Vice President and Prime Minister Sheikh Mohammad bin Rashed al-Maktoum said half the budget has been allocated for expenditures on health, education and social services.
The budget does not include huge oil revenues and is mainly focused on administrative spending, public services, and wages for federal employees.
The UAE is a federation of seven emirates -- Abu Dhabi, Dubai, Sharjah, Ajman, Ras al-Khaimah, Umm al-Qaiwain and Fujairah.
In addition to the federal budget, all seven emirates have their own, the total spending of which is much higher than that of the federal government.
With crude reserves estimated at 97.8 billion barrels, the UAE is OPEC's fourth-largest producer. It has a population of about eight million people, more than 80 percent of them expatriates, mostly Asians.
The UAE pumps around 2.3 million barrels of oil per day, of which the emirate of Abu Dhabi, which is also the federation's capital, contributes more than 90 percent.