• UAE’s Ministry of Public Works and Ministry of Finance preparing public private initiative regulations
  • The regulations should be finalised in 2015
  • No future projects have been selected for private sector investment

The UAE’s Ministry of Public Works (MOPW) is working with the Minstry of Finance to prepare public private initiative (PPI) regulations for federal projects.

It expects to finalise the regulations in 2015.

This follows a cabinet decision on public private projects from 2010.

One PPI scheme for street lighting, proposed by the investor, is already underway. It follows international best practice as contracts have not yet been prepared.

“Many countries go for PPI if they have a finance deficiency,” says Abdullah Belhaif Al-Nuaimi, Minster of Public Works. “We have enough to finance our projects, but maybe at some point there may be more projects and we will look into collaborating with the private sector.”

While the MOPW has hundreds of projects in the pipeline at any time, choosing suitable projects for investment is a challenge.

The first projects to be considered will be roads. MOPW has responsibility for building and operating all federal roads between emirates, whereas other projects are handed over to other ministries for operation.

“We are looking for solutions to legal challenges caused by different regulations in different emirates,” says a spokesperson for MOPW. “We also have to look at the impact on contracts, but at a certain point the decision to involve the private sector should be implemented.”

A ministerial decision was made in 2015 to implement suitable frameworks from April.

But as well as regulations, MOPW’s control centre has to be constructed, and improvements to services implemented before the private sector can become involved.

No further projects have been selected.

“Investment and economic growth are good without a doubt,” says Al-Nuaimi. “The government has no fear of investment from any region.”