Expo 2020 Dubai funding to exceed $8bn by 2021, says Dubai govt exec

Funding for Expo 2020 Dubai-related projects will total AED30 billion ($8.17bn) by 2021.

Director general of Dubai government’s department of finance (DoF), Abdulrahman Saleh Al Saleh, said a budget surplus, as a result of “prudent financial policies”, had been used to fund capital expenditure and infrastructure projects in the emirate – particularly those related to Expo 2020 Dubai.

Al Saleh revealed that Dubai’s sovereign debt reached $32bn in September 2019. The emirate’s public debt to GDP ratio was below 27.9 percent, while the debt-service coverage ratio was five percent of the general budget.

Speaking at a ‘Meet the CEO’ event organised by Dubai Media Office, he also said there was no intention to increase government fees, which were frozen in March 2018.

The DoF is, however, working on a draft cost model for each government entity and a centralised formula for government fees. The first phase includes the collection of data and the calculation of the cost of 1,400 government services, including the Roads and Transport Authority (RTA), Dubai Customs, Dubai Municipality, Dubai Police and Dubai Economic Department. At a later stage, the project will cover 5,500 services provided by 23 revenue-generating government entities.

Al Saleh further said that he expects the private sector to partner with the government on multi-billion joint projects over the next few years.

DoF is currently working with various government entities to implement projects worth AED4bn in sectors such as education, healthcare and energy. These include the AED3.5bn Dubai Municipality’s Waste-to-Energy project.

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