The Ministry of Finance (MoF) moved from the “Line Item Budget” applied in 1972 to “Programme and Performance-based Budgeting” in 2001. In 2008, a medium-term (three-year) budget was implemented and a medium-term zero-based budget was adopted in 2011. Then, in 2014, COFOG (classification of the functions of government) and an automated system were implemented until a five-year zero-based budget was adopted for the term 2022-2026
In the last 49 years, the UAE's budget has increased more than 291-fold from AED 200 million in 1972 to AED 58.3 billion in 2021. This has been accomplished through optimal distribution, efficient use of resources, and maintaining a balance between revenue and expenditures
The federal budgeting process consists of five phases implemented according to laws, regulations, circulars and relevant manuals, 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.