PPP law opens Dubai infra to private investment

Author: Danielle Myles | Published: 22 Oct 2015

Dubai’s incoming public-private partnership (PPP) law has piqued the interest of developers, sponsors and public authorities. But questions linger over the government’s ownership and control rights and the treatment of unsolicited bids.

While power and water PPPs have been possible under sector-specific regimes, the new statute – which takes effect on November 19 – introduces an equivalent framework for other industries.

It’s theoretically possible to structure a PPP without a dedicated legislative regime. But local lawyers said the emirate’s procurement law couldn’t accommodate large infrastructure projects that need significant structuring and external debt financing.    

"We have looked at a number of schemes before in Dubai in a variety of sectors and our conclusion was generally that you couldn’t procure them as PPPs without having a specific law being passed," said Trevor Butcher, partner at DLA Piper. "So having that general piece of enabling legislation...