MoF moved from the 'line item budget' applied in 1972 to 'Program and Performance-based Budgeting’ in 2001. In 2008, a medium-term (three-year) budget was implemented until the medium-term zero-based budget was adopted in 2011. Then, COFOG and an automated system were implemented in 2014. Next year, MoF will adopt a five-year zero-based budget for the term 2017 - 2021.
In the last 44 years, the UAE's budget has increased more than 242-fold from AED 200 million in 1972 to AED 48.5 billion in 2016. This has been accomplished through optimal distribution, efficient use of resources, and maintaining a balance between revenue and expenditures.
According to laws, regulations, circulars and relevant manuals, the federal budgeting process consists of five phases, namely: planning, preparation, reviewing, approval and execution. Budget expenses and allocations are distributed to the six following sectors: Social development, social benefits, infrastructure and economic resources, government affairs, financial assets and investments, and other federal expenses.