Dubai’s Roads and Transport Authority (RTA) is likely to build the AED3bn ($817m) Mohammed bin Rashid Stadium as a public-private partnership (PPP) project.

The probable involvement of the of private sector in scheme follows reluctance from the Department of Finance’s (DoF) to fund the project. It has asked the RTA to arrange financing on the its own, according to sources familiar with the matter.

The RTA has already received “two unsolicited bids” from international stadium developers, although a final decision has yet to be taken. The project could face delay or even cancellation if a deal to push the scheme with the help of private sector is not reached, sources said, adding that DoF is prioritising funding for soft infrastructure including projects in health and education sectors and other schemes are being assessed on case-to-case basis.

MEED in December reported that RTA had appointed the UK’s Deloitte to carry out feasibility studies on the project. The other advisors are understood to be the UK law firm Trowers & Hamlin and Turner & Townsend. The study is now finished but the RTA has yet to tender the project.

The original tender involved studying the demand and optimum mix of land use for real estate on a 400,000 square metre area including the stadium, although MEED reported in June 2016 that this had been altered. The original scope of work also included evaluating different development models, including traditional engineering, procurement & construction (EPC), public private partnership (PPP), appointing a developer or forming a joint venture, as well as any financing required.

The proposed stadium will be located in the Al-Awir area. The 60,000-seat sports venue will comply with Fifa standards and be the world’s first fully air-conditioned and raised off-the-ground stadium. The complex will also include a training hall, 5,000-space car park, a sports museum and conference halls.

Lebanon’s Dar al-Handasah (Shair & Partners) and US-based Perkins+Will are the consultants selected for the stadium design.