Dubai to introduce privatisation law 'very soon'

Law drafted by RTA, applicable across public sector.

Dubai's utility sector will profit from the new privatisation law.
Dubai's utility sector will profit from the new privatisation law.

The Government of Dubai is close to implementing a privatisation law that will make possible public private partnerships (PPPs) across the public sector.

The law has been drafted by the Roads and Transport Authority (RTA), and will soon be approved by the government, confirmed a top RTA official.

“We expect that the law will be approved very soon,” said Abdul Mohsin Ibrahim Younes, CEO of Strategy and Corporate Governance at the RTA at the PPP Middle East Conference on Tuesday.
“The law has been drafted by the RTA, but is not specific to transport,” he added.

The privatisation law will facilitate projects such as the Hassyan independent power and water project (IWPP), which is currently in the pipeline.

Dubai’s Electricity and Water Authority (Dewa) CEO Saeed Mohamed Al Tayer said in November last year that the tender for the 1,500MW, 120 million gallons per day (MIGD) will be announced in the first quarter of 2011, subject to the implementation of the law.

“The legal framework will be introduced during the first quarter,” Al Tayer said at the time.

Dewa had announced its intention to make use of the IWPP model in January 2010, and in July appointed a consortium of advisors comprising of HSBC, Clifford Chance and Mott McDonald.

Additional power generation capacity will be needed, as peak power demand in the emirate had risen almost threefold to 6,161MW over the last decade, according to Al Tayer.

Younes told the delegates that the RTA is planning to make extensive use of the PPPs, which includes building two bridges and multi-storey car parks in Dubai.

The partnership model would be specific to each project, said the RTA man. Apart from attracting funding, bringing in private sector expertise was a crucial benefit for public bodies.

“Its very important for us that the private sector is involved,” said Younes.


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