Abu Dhabi plans to develop 12 new community markets with retail and sports facilities to further expand the existing infrastructure in the emirate and offer new investment opportunities for the private sector.
The new markets will be developed through Musataha agreements, which will allow private sector investors to design, build and operate an asset on land owned by the government for a stipulated, long-term period, Abu Dhabi Investment Office (Adio) said on Thursday.
“Musataha agreements are an important part of Abu Dhabi’s ambitious model to effectively engage the private sector to deliver key infrastructure and services,” Tariq Bin Hendi, director general of Adio, said. “The long-term nature of Musataha projects offer investors certainty in planning and decision-making from inception through to completion.”
Adio and the Department of Municipalities and Transport (DMT) have awarded three tenders so far to private companies to develop community markets in Khalifa City, Shakhbout City and Mohammed Bin Zayed City. The remaining tenders are expected to be launched this month and the whole process is scheduled to be completed by the end of 2022, according to Adio.
Last year, Abu Dhabi issued new public-private partnership (PPP) procurement regulations to boost collaboration between the private and public sector entities and attract more investment into the emirate.
The regulations followed the Abu Dhabi government’s announcement to issue tenders worth Dh10 billion ($2.72bn) under the PPP model in infrastructure partnership projects including education, transport and municipal works. The initiative was launched as part of Dh50bn Ghadan 21 accelerators programme to boost Abu Dhabi’s economy.
"Enabling sustainable economic growth by supporting public-private partnerships is essential for ongoing development, and joining forces to provide more platforms and opportunities that will attract investors will be a key pillar to achieving that,” Abdullah Al Sahi, undersecretary of the Department of Municipalities and Transport, said.
Adio and DMT have also invited companies that are 100 per cent owned by the UAE nationals to participate in two tenders to develop new community markets near the Yas-Saadiyat highway and in Al Aamerah in Al Ain.
Abu Dhabi's economy is expected to grow between 6 per cent and 8 per cent over the next two years, driven by government spending, financial services and foreign direct investment, Mohammed Al Shorafa, chairman of the emirate's Department of Economic Development, said earlier this year.