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UAE government’s operating surplus doubles thanks to oil price surge

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The United Arab Emirates government’s net operating surplus more than doubled in the first quarter to 36.4 billion dirhams ($9.9 billion) as surging oil prices boosted public revenue, finance ministry data showed on Monday.

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High oil prices and increased production have been a boon for the UAE’s economy this year, along with a continued recovery from the pandemic’s impact.

Government spending in the UAE rose to 87.4 billion dirhams from 73.1 billion dirhams in the first quarter of 2021, a nearly 20 percent rise.

Revenue jumped 39 percent from a year earlier to 123.8 billion dirhams in the first quarter, the data showed.

The UAE’s net operating surplus was up 128.7 percent from 15.9 billion dirhams in the first quarter of last year.

The UAE in October approved a 58.9 billion dirhams federal budget and in June proposed 1.23 billion dirhams in additional spending. The federal budget is just a fraction of state spending as individual emirates, such as Abu Dhabi and Dubai, also have their own budgets.

Spending on compensation of government employees in the first quarter rose 16.6 percent year on year to 28.7 billion dirhams. Social benefits expenditure was up 7.4 percent to 14.1 billion dirhams.

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