The Cabinet today approved AED140 billion general federal budget for 2014- 2016 during its session held at the Presidential Palace, up by 15 percent compared to previous years. It also endorsed AED46 billion for the federal budget of 2014, of which over half is allocated for the development and social welfare sectors. Meanwhile, 21 percent of the budget has been allocated to both general and higher education sectors. It will be spent on improving the general education and academic excellence programme in local universities Chaired by the Vice President and Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai, His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, the Cabinet also allocated AED18.5 billion for the government affairs sector to upgrade and enhance delivery of services to citizens locally and abroad. It also allocated AED3.7 billion to the health sector, AED1.4 billion for housing programme and AED400 million for the marriage fund. The Cabinet has announced the al-Hijri New Year holiday for the private and public institutions to Sunday, 3rd November. Work will resume on Monday, 4th November. The Council of Ministers hailed the efforts exerted to back the Dubai Expo 2012 bid in which the U.A.E. leadership and people take great interest. It added that the U.A.E. is fully prepared to host the world event. The session was attended by H.H. Lt. General Sheikh Saif bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of the Interior and H.H. Sheikh Mansour bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Presidential Affairs.