x Abu Dhabi, UAEThursday 27 July 2017

Dubai civic body has $205m extra

Dubai Municipality earlier projected a revenue drop. Jeff Topping / The National
Dubai Municipality earlier projected a revenue drop. Jeff Topping / The National

Dubai Municipality has reported a budget surplus of Dh756 million (US$205.8m) in the first half of its financial year, up by 42 per cent on last year.

The surplus comes as good news in a year when the civic body expected a drop in revenue.

The municipality had projected the drop this year because of an expected decrease in the collection of fees from hotels.

Mohammed Abdul Karim Julfar, the assistant director general of Dubai Municipality, said the revenue had exceeded expectations because existing hotels had expanded, new ones had opened and tourist numbers had recovered.

Mr Julfar said achieving the surplus had been high on the municipality's agenda. He said the civic body was keen to meet the priorities laid out by the Dubai Government to achieve a zero budget deficit.

"The approved budget for expenditure in 2011 is Dh3.57 billion, of which Dh1.49bn has been spent in the first half of this year," said Mr Julfar. "By this time last year, we had spent Dh2.22bn."

Between April and August last year, the municipality reported a surplus of Dh578m - Dh178m less than this year.

"We attributed that to a failure to complete [the] collection of fees," said Mr Julfar. The budget for "capital projects" - those implemented to maintain or develop the city - is Dh1.88bn, of which Dh760 million has already been spent.

That expenditure is an increase of 40 per cent compared with last year's Dh1.42bn.

Further details of how the remainder of the budget will be distributed over the next six months will be announced in the coming days.

melshoush@thenational.ae