Private sector to run Abu Dhabi markets

New communal markets and highway rest stops to be run through PPPs

NEWS, Business

The Municipality of Abu Dhabi is to partner with private sector firms to develop communal markets, highway service stations and other tourist-friendly features at assets owned by the municipality.

The organisation has drawn up a masterplan for developing a range of sites to provide new sports, educational and public service facilities at new public markets that will contain Community Service Centres. These sites will also contain customer cervice centres owned by the municipality and a range of retail outlets. Restaurants, cafes and other facilities could also be added on key sites, it said.

The municipality has divided projects into two categories - one will involve the redevelopment of existing municipality assets and the other will see a series of new projects built. These will be developed by the private sector under a Build, Operate, Transfer model, where private sector firms would run the sites and collect rents over a specified period before eventually handing ownership back to the government.

A masterplan has already been developed for the markets, with 40 potential sites already identified and tenders issued for the first eight. Construction contracts have already been awarded for six of these. Larger district centres of up to 21,000m2 will serve areas with a population of up to 40,000, and in smaller centres with populationss of up to 10,000 smaller community centres of around 7,000m2 will be built.

New 'rest houses' will also be built along the side of major public highways for drivers which will contain improved parking, shopping and dining facilities.

"This drive epitomises the vision of Abu Dhabi Government aimed at propping up the comprehensive development drive, upgrading public facilities, and introducing new projects needed by the community for the sake of proving integrated modern services in a civilised manner conforming to the highest international standards, besides bolstering the cooperation and integration links with the private sector," the municipality said in a statement.

It added that office space will be made available within some centres for start-up companies and SMEs.


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