Infrastructure takes fifth of Sharjah's $7bn 2019 budget

Infra development (23%) and capital projects (22%) are major components of Sharjah's 2019 spending plans

Infrastructure development and improvements, as well as capital projects, are major features of Sharjah's 2019 budget [representational image].
Infrastructure development and improvements, as well as capital projects, are major features of Sharjah's 2019 budget [representational image].

Infrastructure improvement and enhancement account for 23% of Sharjah’s 2019 budget, worth $7bn (AED25.7bn). HH Dr Sheikh Sultan bin Mohammed Al Qasimi, Supreme Council Member and Ruler of Sharjah, approved the 2019 budget, which marks a 10% year-on-year growth over its corresponding 2018 value.

The bulk of the budget is allocated to salaries, while 23% is focused on the development and improvement of Sharjah’s infrastructure. Another 41% is dedicated to the economic development sector, with 22% dedicated to capital projects and social development each. Social support and assistance make up 11% of the total budget, with 600 jobs citizen jobs expected to be created during the period. Budget estimates suggest Sharjah Government revenues will grow by 20% in 2019.

In line with UAE Vision 2021, citizens in Sharjah are expected to “strengthen their role in the sustainable building and development of the emirate” through the 2019 budget. The provision of social support is a priority, and “investing in infrastructure will take precedence” as Sharjah seeks to achieve its economic, social, scientific, and cultural objectives, according to a report by the UAE’s official press agency, Wam.

Waleed Al Sayegh, director-general of Sharjah Central Finance Department (SCFD), said the emirate’s 2019 budget will help to achieve “the vision and the strategy of the government”.

He added: “Focusing on the growth and modernisation of the emirate, the process involves medium-term spending, linking the budget to the economic and social indicators laid out by Dr Sheikh Sultan Al Qasimi. With the 2019 budget, our goal is for all of Sharjah’s residents to enjoy a comfortable life.”

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Commenting on the budget, Sheikh Mohammed bin Saud Al Qasimi, chairman of SCFD, added: “The budget indicators are all in line with international standards from inflation and sector expenditure as well as other economic indicators. We have also developed a more strategic expenditure framework within governmental departments.

“The 2019 budget will ensure that the emirate of Sharjah continues to grow and develop for it to become a major player on the world economic map. It will also ensure the financial stability of the emirate while taking into account the business costs for both local and international investors.”

Sharjah is one of the GCC’s busiest construction hubs, and has significant building projects under way heading into 2019. Among these are Sharjah Mosque and Arada’s Nasma and $6.5bn (AED24bn) Aljada homes, in addition to Sharjah Investment and Development Authority’s (Shurooq) $2.1bn (AED7.6bn) portfolio that includes Heart of Sharjah and Fossil Rock Lodge.

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