Dubai will host an international public-private partnership conference in October under the umbrella of Expo 2020 as part of the government strategy to build a productive ecosystem for public-private partnerships, Khaleej Times has learnt.
The highly anticipated event aims to foster a dialogue on partnership opportunities between the public and private sectors, and explore innovative approaches for partnerships with local and international investors.
The conference will bring together leading government entities such as Dubai Electricity and Water Authority (Dewa), the Roads and Transport Authority (RTA), Dubai Municipality (DM) and the Dubai Health Authority (DHA) to discuss how they can create an environment that promotes winning partnerships in Dubai.
Abdulrahman Saleh Al Saleh, director-general of the Dubai Government’s Department of Finance, said the event will create an enabling platform for all stakeholders to work in harmony to develop Dubai’s PPP ecosystem within an advanced regulatory framework, in alignment with the vision of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai.
“We will work together with our strategic partners to unveil a portfolio of vital projects during the conference, which offer real opportunities for partnership with the private sector. These projects will provide a solid pillar for further building a vibrant PPP environment,” Saleh said in a statement to Khaleej Times on Monday.
“We aim to transform Dubai into one of the world’s most prominent destinations for successful PPPs in investment, contracting, consulting, infrastructure development and other vital areas related to the development of government projects,” he said.
Power and water
One of the Dubai government entities that is playing a key role in shaping the emirate’s PPP ecosystem is DEWA, which has a range of strategic projects in power and water generation. With investments, estimated at about Dh86 billion over five years, focused on enhancing production capacity and meeting the increasing demand for electricity and water from more than one million customers, the Authority is a vital player in developing Dubai’s world-class infrastructure.
“As part of realising its ambitious vision and development drive, Dubai is seeing several major projects that offer promising investment opportunities, especially in the fields of renewable and clean energy. Cooperation and integration between the public and private sectors are an important pillar for achieving the emirate’s goals and consolidating its position as a global model for PPP investments,” said Saeed Mohammed Al Tayer, managing director and CEO of Dewa.
“We have strategic partnerships with many international companies for various projects including the Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Solar Park, based on the Independent Power Producers (IPP) model that has attracted investments estimated at Dh40 billion. The IPP model enabled Dewa to achieve a world record for the lowest prices for solar energy projects five times in a row. Today, Dubai has become a global benchmark for solar energy prices,” he added.
Roads and transport
Another important player in fostering the development of Dubai’s PPP environment is the Roads and Transport Authority (RTA), which has over the years helped the emirate become a global leader in transportation infrastructure.
Affirming the Authority’s keenness to strengthen partnerships with the private sector, Mattar Al Tayer, director-general and chairman of the board of executive directors of RTA said: “We have pioneered a number of exceptional PPP projects, such as the integrated truck rest stop project, which is the first of its kind in the region. In 2020, RTA was able to attract foreign investments through various partnership projects, including the ‘air-conditioned bus shelters for passengers’ project, and the ‘Union 71’, the mix-use commercial, residential and retail units project located above the ‘Union’ underground metro station.”
“RTA has developed a comprehensive roadmap to enhance partnerships with the private sector in the next five years, which features the implementation of 14 projects valued at more than Dh5 billion. These include projects to develop infrastructure and transportation services, such as bus stations, multi-story parking buildings, road lighting systems, and the development of land according to the Directed Development Model,” he added.
Dubai Municipality (DM) is another leading government organisation advancing productive PPPs in the emirate. Recently, the Municipality launched a giant waste management project, considered one of the world’s largest waste-to-energy plants. A consortium of local and international companies will build and operate the Dh4 billion ‘Dubai Waste Management Centre’ project in cooperation with Dubai Municipality, under a 35-year concession. This public-private partnership is one of the largest investments in the UAE’s renewable energy sector.
Dawood Al Hajri, director-general of DM, said Dubai is one of the world’s most dynamic cities and most attractive investment destinations.
“We were one of the first government entities to launch a PPP project when the government started implementing this model. We will intensify our efforts to involve the private sector more closely in infrastructure projects. One of our showcases for the PPP model is the ‘Dubai Waste Management Centre’, the largest waste-to-energy project in the world, being developed with large local and foreign investments. In the coming years, we are also exploring the launch of other vital infrastructure projects with huge investments, in partnership with the private sector.”
Health and safety
The Dubai Health Authority, which is spearheading the emirate’s mission to transform itself into a leading healthcare destination is pursuing public-private partnerships in the development of several new health facilities, including hospitals, medical centres, specialised care centres and others.
Awad Saghir Al Ketbi, director-general of DHA said the DIPPPC, set to be held next October alongside Expo 2020, represents a valuable opportunity for all participants to explore new innovative models of sustainable PPP that serve their goals and contribute to achieving their visions and future aspirations.
“DHA is keen to cooperate with the private sector as a strategic partner, in order to continue developing the healthcare ecosystem and build an exceptional healthcare model that is resilient, sustainable and capable of meeting the needs of the emirate’s growing population, as well as serve Dubai’s ambitious plans to develop the world’s best healthcare ecosystem,”
Events to be staged at the DWTC, comprising diverse sectors including construction, energy, technology, beauty, food, healthcare, environment and automotive, will mark the emirate’s post-pandemic economic recovery