UAE to have new framework for public-private partnerships

The documentation will be used instead of drafting a new PPP law

The United Arab Emirates will prepare documentation to govern public-private partnerships (PPPs) by the end of 2016 as it encourages more private sector participation in infrastructure projects, a minister said on Tuesday.

The documentation, which will be used instead of drafting a new PPP law, will be submitted to the cabinet this year, Minister of Infrastructure Development Abdullah bin Mohammed al-Nuaimi told reporters at a rail industry conference in Dubai.

The documentation will regulate agreements between the private sector and the government and “will give the opportunity to the private sector to be comfortable when they operate with the government,” he said.

In PPPs, private investors take stakes in projects, sharing the risk and profits with the government.

The UAE is spending tens of billions of dollars on huge infrastructure projects, including expansion of airports in Abu Dhabi and Dubai and the Dubai Expo 2020 world’s fair site.

Countries around the region are promoting PPPs as a way to reduce pressure on state finances in an era of low oil prices. In 2015, the emirate of Dubai, which is part of the UAE, enacted its own PPP law.