The Abu Dhabi Investment Office (ADIO), in collaboration with the Abu Dhabi Department of Education and Knowledge (ADEK), has awarded the contract for the Zayed City Schools public-private partnership (PPP) project to a consortium led by BESIX and Plenary Group, and subsequently reached Commercial Close.
The Zayed City Schools PPP project includes the design, build, finance, maintenance and transfer of three new school campuses with a capacity of 5,360 students in Abu Dhabi’s Zayed City. As a pathfinder project developed from origination to award under Abu Dhabi’s new PPP regulatory framework, it will pave the way for increased private sector participation in delivering public infrastructure.
Australian PPP specialist Plenary Group has a solid track record of delivering projects across the world and will be a new entrant to Abu Dhabi. Together with Belgian group BESIX which has been active in the UAE since 1965 and which has been awarded major infrastructure projects such as the Guggenheim Abu Dhabi, the consortium submitted an innovative, world-class delivery solution for ADEK’s Zayed City schools.
The education services at each campus will be provided separately by a private sector Chartered School Operator (CSO), who will be selected under ADEK’s CSO PPP programme. This unique, integrated PPP solution will be the first-of-its-kind vertically integrated PPP education solution for the MENA region and will maximise operational efficiencies by bringing together high calibre education and building service providers under a single PPP project framework.
The campuses have been designed to meet Estidama sustainability requirements and ensure COVID-19 resilience in terms of spatial layout and use. The campuses will provide students access to high-quality learning environments and modern facilities, enhancing the attractiveness of Zayed City and Abu Dhabi.
The tender process attracted international developers and investors and has successfully concluded with the contract award and has subsequently reached Commercial Close. The transaction is expected to reach Financial Close in July 2022, with the scheduled term start date for all three campuses in September 2024.
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