EXCLUSIVE: Dubai scraps stadium PPP plan

29 July 2018
The planned 60,000-seat sports venue was to be built in Dubai’s Al-Awir area

Dubai’s Roads and Transport Authority (RTA) has decided not to go ahead with the plan to build the AED3bn ($817m) Mohammed bin Rashid Stadium as a public-private partnership (PPP) project, a source familiar with the scheme tells MEED.

The PPP route was considered following the Department of Finance’s (DoF) reluctance to fund the project, requiring the RTA to arrange financing on its own.

The project could face delay or even cancellation if a deal to push the scheme with private sector help is not reached, sources told MEED at the time.

In April 2017, MEED reported the RTA received “two unsolicited bids” from international stadium developers, although a final decision was not taken.

The DoF was understood to be prioritising funding for soft infrastructure including projects in health and education sectors. Other schemes, such as the stadium, were being assessed on a case-to-case basis.

RTA appointed the UK’s Deloitte to carry out feasibility studies on the project in December 2016. Other advisers on the project were understood to be UK law firm Trowers & Hamlin and UK project consultancy Turner & Townsend.

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.


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