Mohammed bin Rashid reviews the UAE Government’s financial achievements and initiatives for 2023 | Kanebridge News
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Mohammed bin Rashid reviews the UAE Government’s financial achievements and initiatives for 2023

Including the issuance of 151 decisions enhancing the efficiency and sustainability of resources in the Federal Government.

Mon, Mar 4, 2024 4:37pmGrey Clock 5 min
  • Maktoum bin Mohammed: The policies, strategies, and programmes implemented, within the federal scope, in the financial sector have provided a great support to all sectors of development in the UAE, and to their development plan.
  • Maktoum bin Mohammed: The UAE has been ranked first globally in 4 international indexes of competitiveness related to financial sector, which affirms the success of the implemented national financial policies, and reflects the significant opportunities offered to the finance, economy, and investment organisations practicing in the UAE, where they enjoy a flexible legislative system and advanced digital infrastructure.
  • Maktoum bin Mohammed: The Ministry of Finance is continuing in the next phase its support to enhancing economic performance, in line with the UAE Economic Principles Document. This is within a framework that consolidates the role of the federal financial system in achieving comprehensive and sustainable development in the UAE.

Key financial achievements and initiatives in 2023

  • The UAE ranked 1st globally in 4 international indexes of competitiveness in financial sector.
  • 15 federal laws, 62 regulatory decisions, 9 key national projects and initiatives on financial affairs approved by the Cabinet.
  • 10 decisions regulating tax matters, 17 decisions regulating government services, 6 decisions on the federal government’s financial policies.
  • 8 international agreements were signed or approved with the Republic of Côte d’Ivoire, Republic of Mozambique, Barbados, Cooperative Republic of Guyana, Czech Republic, and the United Republic of Tanzania.
  • 147 agreements to avoid double taxation and 112 agreements to encourage and protect investments were signed until 2023.
  • AED481.5 billion is the total asset value scored up to Q3 of 2023.

UAE: His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai has reviewed the UAE Government’s financial achievements and initiatives for the year 2023. The outcome included 151 Cabinet decisions related to the financial sector, covering the launch of new policies and initiatives, legislation and laws, as well as the approval of international agreements.

His Highness Sheikh Maktoum bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, First Deputy Ruler of Dubai, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance of the UAE said: “The policies, strategies, and programmes implemented, within the federal scope, in the financial sector, in line with the vision of President His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan and the directives of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President, Prime Minister, and Ruler of Dubai, have provided a great support to all sectors of development in the UAE, and to their development plan. This, in turn, supports the objectives related to bolstering the efficiency and sustainability of resources in the Federal Government.”

His Highness added: “The UAE was ranked first globally in 4 international indexes of competitiveness related to financial sector, and third in the General Government Gros Debt indicator, within the annual World Competitiveness Booklet 2023. This affirms the success of the implemented national financial policies and reflects the significant potential of sustainable improvement and progress. It, additionally, reflects the promising opportunities offered to the finance, economy, and investment organisations seeking benefit from the advanced financial ecosystem in the UAE which is boosted by a flexible legislative system and an advanced digital infrastructure”.

His Highness said: “The Ministry of Finance will continue in the next phase its support to enhance economic performance, in line with the UAE Economic Principles Document. The Document serves as a road map stipulating the characteristics and pillars of the performance of all federal entities. It features preparing the necessary legislation, laws, policies and frameworks to protect the stability of the country’s financial systems, ensuring its sustainable development and commitment to high international standards in efficiency and safety. This tremendously bolsters the investors’ confidence. The country’s financial systems enjoy a continuous process of development and modernisation, within a framework that consolidates the role of the federal financial system in achieving comprehensive and sustainable development in the UAE.”

The UAE ranked 1st globally in 4 international competitiveness indexes

The government’s financial policies and efforts introduced in the sector have contributed to the UAE winning the top rank globally in 4 international competitiveness indicators. The UAE was ranked first globally in the indicator of “Efficiency of government spending” in the Prosperity Index report in 2023. It was ranked first in the index of “the government budget balance with the GDP” in the report of the same indicator for the same year, and ranked first in the index of “the adaptability of the government policy”, in the World Competitiveness Booklet 2023, and ranked first in the index of “financial openness” in the Travel and Tourism Development Report 2023, published annually by the World Economic Forum. The UAE was ranked third globally in the index of “general government total gross debt”, in the World Competitiveness Booklet 2023.

Legilation, projects and national initiatives to strengthen public finance

During the year 2023, the UAE Cabinet approved the issuance of 15 federal laws in the financial sector, 62 regulatory decisions enhancing the efficiency and effectiveness of managing the financial position and cash flows in the Federal Government, signed 8 international agreements and approved 9 projects and main national financial initiatives.

The important national financial initiatives and projects presented by the Federal Government in 2023 include the plan to sustain the Federal Government Budget, Sukuk (Islamic Bonds) restructuring, the project of electronic invoicing, updating the Federal Government Public Debt Strategy of 2021-2023, restructuring the Federal Government franchising fees for the firms operating in the telecommunication sector in the UAE, creating  a database for the real estate assets with the cost of around AED62 Billion, enhancing the development and supply chains in the Federal Government, and the project of supporting the GCC Customs Union (GCCCU).

The regulatory decisions approved by the Cabinet in 2023 included 10 decisions regulating tax affairs in the UAE, 17 decisions regulating government services and fees, as well as 6 decisions on other financial policies.

Signing 8 international agreements

The UAE government continued to enhance the country’s competitiveness and consolidate its international relation, signing and ratifying 8 different international agreements, including 4 international agreements on incentivising and protecting investment with the Republic of Côte d’Ivoire, Republic of Mozambique, Barbados, Cooperative Republic of Guyana, and 4 international agreements regarding the avoidance of double taxation and the prevention of financial evasion related to taxes on income with the Republic of Côte d’Ivoire, Czech Republic, the United Republic of Tanzania, the Cooperative Republic of Guyana. This brings the total number of agreements to avoid double taxation to 147 agreements, and 112 international agreements to encourage and protect investment.

Consolidating the strategic partnership with institutions of the international community

The Ministry of Finance has been conducting the necessary preparations for the country to host the annual meeting of the Board of Governors of the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development and the Business Forum in 2026, to consolidate the UAE’s position as an attractive and sustainable destination for foreign direct investment, and a major axis on the global investment landscape.

The UAE government successfully completed measuring its financial position, by applying the accrual basis of accounting, in accordance with the standards of the International Public Sector Accounting Standards (IPSAS). The total value of assets reached AED481.5 billion until quarter 3 of the year 2023. The UAE maintained its effective strategic partnerships with organisations of the international community, participated in the Poverty Reduction and Growth Trust (PRGT) and IMF’s Resilience and Sustainability Trust (RST), and financially contributed to the 12th Replenishment of the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD).



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Saudi Arabia’s 2024 Summer TOURISM Plans Unveils New Incentives and Global Attractions

“Saudi Summer is Next Door” plans to boost tourism in the Kingdom over four months across seven destinations.

Wed, May 22, 2024 4 min

Saudi Arabia has unveiled its plan to attract international tourists this summer. The strategy includes appealing visa options, complimentary airline tickets for families, a lineup of major events, and opportunities for tax-free shopping.

The initiative, organized under the guidance of Ahmed Al Khateeb, Minister of Tourism and Chairman of the Saudi Tourism Authority (STA), is named “Saudi Summer is Next Door.”

Jeddah

Extensive Summer 2024 Tourism Activities

The initiative will span four months, ending in September, and will be hosted across seven key destinations: Aseer, Al Baha, Taif, the Red Sea, Jeddah, Riyadh, and AlUla.

It features over 550 tourism products and more than 150 specially tailored offers and packages for families and various interest groups including adventure enthusiasts, luxury seekers, and cultural and heritage buffs.

The launch event of the Saudi Summer Program 2024 was attended by notable figures such as Zurab Pololikashvili, Secretary-General of the World Tourism Organization, in addition to more than 250 key partners from both public and private sectors, prominent media personalities, and influential opinion leaders.

Showcasing Global Events and Cultural Richness

This year’s program will also welcome back the Jeddah Season and introduce the Aseer Season, each filled with various activities and events for families. The Kingdom will host several significant events as part of the summer program, including the first Esports World Cup in Riyadh, an eight-week competition featuring top esports athletes, and various boxing tournaments in Riyadh and Jeddah.

During the event, Al Khateeb highlighted the latest global tourism trends, the Kingdom’s growth in the tourism sector, and the record-high tourist numbers that have propelled Saudi Arabia to the top of the UN World Tourism list and the G20 nations list.

Al Baha

Al Khateeb emphasized, “Saudi Arabia is witnessing a transformative period in tourism, driven by our vision to position the Kingdom as a premier global destination. The Saudi Summer Program 2024 is our commitment to showcasing the rich cultural heritage, natural beauty, and unparalleled hospitality that Saudi Arabia offers. “We invite local and international tourists to experience the diversity of our seven unique destinations and take advantage of the exceptional offers and packages designed to create unforgettable memories. “This initiative, supported by our strategic partnerships and groundbreaking efforts like the eVisa and increased flight connectivity, demonstrates our dedication to making Saudi Arabia more accessible and appealing to tourists worldwide. “We look forward to welcoming visitors from all corners of the globe to explore and enjoy the vibrant experiences that await them this summer.”

Zurab Pololikashvili, Secretary-General of the World Tourism Organization, also remarked, “Saudi tourism is witnessing unparalleled development at all levels, achieving great leaps in recent years, which I witnessed during my multiple visits to this hospitable country.”

Riyadh

“Saudi Arabia has global indicators related to the number of tourists, which has qualified it to top the UN World Tourism list of significant tourist destinations.”

“All of these great achievements for Saudi tourism would not have been possible without proper planning by those in charge of the sector in the Kingdom and the great potential it possesses in terms of diverse climates, stunning natural landmarks, and the generosity of Saudi people who are distinguished by their hospitality, raising the ceiling of ambitions for new achievements.”

STA CEO Fahd Hamidaddin said: “While temperatures in the region rise to high levels during summer, temperatures in the highlands of Saudi Arabia in the southern region decrease to the extent that we even witnessed snowfall in Al Soudah yesterday.” “Through the promotional campaign for the Saudi Summer Program 2024, we seek to highlight the uniqueness of our destinations and their climatic, natural, and cultural diversity, along with the exceptional events and activities happening during summer. “This year’s summer program includes more than 550 tourism products and 150 special offers designed in collaboration with STA’s partners, which include attractive offers from hotels, airlines offering free tickets for children in partnership with major travel, tourism, and aviation companies, and exceptional products in the Aseer Season and Jeddah Season like tax-free shopping offers and many new and exciting experiences such as private beaches for tourists and ladies’ beaches.”

“The campaign slogan “Saudi Summer is Next Door” embodies an open invitation to explore the magic of Saudi destinations and their diversity. This diversity is expressed with simple words that reflect the uniqueness of each destination, such as “Closer,” “Cooler,” “More Beautiful,” and “More Affordable.”

The private sector is a very important component of the success of tourism programs and initiatives, and the Saudi Tourism Authority is committed to empowering it by fostering demand for products and offers that align with the aspirations of tourists globally.

The launch of the Saudi Summer Program 2024 marks a period when visiting the Kingdom has become easier, smoother, and safer through measures such as the availability of the eVisa to citizens of 66 countries, a 20 percent reduction in eVisa prices, and a significant increase in the number of weekly flights from

Gulf cities to Saudi summer destinations, now totaling 1,100.

Residents of the GCC can also benefit from the GCC residents visa, which allows them multiple entries and a stay of up to 90 days in the Kingdom over a year. Moreover, the number of hotel rooms available to travelers is set to increase, with an additional 25,000 rooms expected to be added this year.

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