UAE announces $5.5 bln in additional development spending

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It gave no further details or figures on the amount that had been previously approved, but in September, the government of Abu Dhabi, the wealthiest of the seven emirates in the UAE, approved 15.8 billion dirhams worth of spending on infrastructure and social welfare projects.

The U.S.-allied UAE is one of the wealthiest countries in the world, with per capita income of $48,200 in 2012, according to World Bank figures.

Dubai, another member of the federation and the Gulf’s trading and tourism hub, last month won the right to host the 2020 World Expo, expected to trigger billions of dollars of investments.
Sheikh Khalifa, who is also ruler of Abu Dhabi, added he had decided to build 10,000 new homes for Emiratis all over the UAE and to increase the housing funds allocated to citizens under the Sheikh Zayed programme to 800,000 dirhams from 500,000 now.

Abu Dhabi is investing billions of dollars in industry, tourism and infrastructure to diversify its economy away from oil. Since the 2011 uprisings in the Arab world, it has also boosted spending on housing and social services for its citizens.

Among the latest spending allocations are 7.4 billion dirhams to develop roads linking the city of Abu Dhabi with Saudi Arabia and Dubai. A total of 4.3 billion dirhams will go towards building a hospital in the city of Al Ain.

Other allocations are to develop the emirate’s electricity grid and waste water treatment facilities, and 3.1 billion dirhams to provide housing loans to 1,554 local citizens.

(REUTERS)


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