Developing and maintaining a sustainable, reliable and high-quality infrastructure is the key to the success of any city, according to Abdulrahman Saleh Al Saleh, Director-General of Dubai’s Department of Finance, DoF.
“We are continuously aspiring to enhance the financial sustainability of the public sector and provide a stimulus for economic growth in the Emirate of Dubai. In line with these aspirations, DoF is placing a key focus on Public-Private Partnerships, PPPs, aiming to leverage local and international private sector expertise, efficiency, and innovation,” he said.
Al Saleh expects that the private sector will engage in projects and initiatives with the government worth tens of billions of dirhams within the next few years, pointing out that companies are aware of the benefits that can be achieved in infrastructure development projects through a public-private partnership.
“This business model has proved successful in countries that have been implementing it for a long period of time,” continued Al Saleh. “Alternative financing serves as a catalyst and a conduit for the attainment of additional strategic imperatives such as economic diversification, foreign direct investment, encouragement of local entrepreneurship and industry, and the pursuit of sustainable economic growth. In order to adhere to the targets set out by the Dubai Plan 2021 and the Dubai Industrial Strategy 2030, Dubai must deliver the infrastructure required to meet the needs of a growing population, and develop the Emirate as one of the world’s leading financial, touristic and commercial hubs.”
Aref Abdulrahman Ahli, Executive Director of Planning and General Budget Sector at DOF, said, “DOF has established a dedicated PPP unit. We are also finalising the formulation of operating guidelines based on best practices across the PPP procurement lifecycle and devising a uniform budgeting approach to managing PPP liabilities and managing aggregate fiscal exposure.”
According to Ahli, promoting partnership between the public and private sector is one of the main objectives of the PPP framework and can be achieved by bringing a shift in managing certain infrastructure and public services projects, from direct implementation, operation, and management to other forms of government involvement, including policy approval and quality control of public services.
“Objectives of the PPP framework include the encouragement of private sector interest in participating in projects to increase investment in various relevant fields, by instilling of confidence in the efficiency, transparency, and integrity of the procurement process, as well as utilising the financial, administrative, regulatory, technical, and technological potential and experience of the private sector, among other objectives,” continued Ahli.
The Executive Council of Dubai has recently approved the Public-Private Partnership strategic plan and related initiatives for 2019–2021, which was presented by the DoF on Monday, 18th September.