On 10 – 11 October 2021, as a part of Expo 2020, a Dubai International Public Private Partnership Conference (DIPPP) took place. It was hosted by the Department of Finance for the Government of Dubai, under the patronage of His Highness Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, the Crown Prince of Dubai and the Chairman of the Executive Council. The representatives of the PPP Agency, namely its Director, Niko Gachechyladze and the Head of the PPP Project Support Division, Yuliia Sukhoverkha, have participated in the event.
The conference aimed to bring together leaders from the industry to discuss issues pertinent to developing infrastructure and building successful partnerships between public and private sectors for a sustainable future. Over 500 high-level delegates and officials – leaders in the PPP field and representatives of potential investors, have participated in the event.
Discussions focused on assessing key factors for creating a favourable public-private partnership ecosystem; on global trends in creating sustainable infrastructure resilient to climate change, and on the important role of the private sector in implementing transformational innovations.
The main topic of discussions on October 10th was «Fostering an Enabling Environment for Winning Partnerships». The conference was opened by His Excellency Saeed Mohammed Al Tayer, the Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer of the Dubai Electricity and Water Authority (DEWA), with a keynote address on engaging the private sector to implement Dubai’s development vision. He has illuminated DEWA’s success in involving the private sector in the implementation of a multi-billion USD programme of flagship power and water sector projects while incorporating innovation and sustainability as an essential part of the business strategy.
Other activities of this day were:
- Panel discussion titled «Opportunities and Challenges while Activating PPP Projects in MENA»
The speakers of this panel were the representatives from developers, investors and lenders community. They have discussed critical factors for advancing the MENA region’s (Middle East & North Africa) development journey.
- Panel discussion «Transforming Infrastructure Delivery in MENA – the PPP Drive»
The Middle East and North Africa region (MENA) is at the cusp of a major transformation. Governments are keen to deliver large infrastructure projects in partnership with the private sector. This has led to PPP units being set up in most jurisdictions. This panel has explored how the regional PPP Units have been established, and what their goals are.
- Welcome and Keynote from DoF «Launch of Dubai Government’s PPP Projects Pipeline»
His Excellency Abdulrahman Saleh Al Saleh, the Director General of the Department of Finance, the centralized government entity governing Dubai Government’s PPP Program, has delivered a keynote address to the delegates, emphasizing the context and reasons for the decision to gather the PPP community as part of Expo 2020 in Dubai.
«PPP has become the next global innovative trend for governments around the world seeking to finance their infrastructure and urban development projects»- H. E. Abdulrahman Saleh Al Saleh, Director-General of Department of Finance.
His Excellency Abdulla Al Basti, the Secretary General of The Executive Council of Dubai, has discussed the Dubai government’s strategic vision, future development plans and the important role the private sector will play in the delivery of future projects.
Department of Finance announced new PPP projects worth 25 billion dirhams. Portfolio includes more than 30 PPP projects. These projects follow 5 strategic sectors that include health care, public transport infrastructure, roads, parking and utilities, waste management, utilities, water and sewerage, as well as 7 urban development projects worth 22.6 billion dirhams, 14 road and transport projects.
- Panel discussion «Key Enablers for a Successful PPP Program – a Global Perspective»
In this session, experts from other PPP jurisdictions including France, Canada, Greece and Africa were brought together to share their experience in utilities, transport, education, health and defence sectors.
- Interview «Fostering a Conducive Environment for PPPs in Dubai»
Interview questions encompassed the establishment of the Centralized PPP Unit at DoF; key initiatives and pilot projects, legal framework and governance set up to facilitate PPPs in the country; as well as the strategic outlook for the PPP program and the overall involvement of the private sector in implementing Dubai government’s projects.
- Panel discussion «Balancing Risk Allocation to Achieve Successful Long-term Partnership»
This panel has explored the perspectives of different stakeholders on the optimal allocation of technical, commercial, legal and financial risks between public and private partners to get the best Value for Money (VfM). Dr Eyüp Vural Aydin, the Chairman of the Istanbul PPP Center of Excellence, has emphasised the importance of finding balance when allocating risks between public and private partners, as well as the prominence of PPP project evaluation stages and construct structuring.
The discussions of the 11th of October were held under the slogan “Embedding Sustainability and Innovation to Future-proof Infrastructure” and included the following:
- Welcome keynote
His Excellency Sultan Bin Sulayem, the Group Chairman and CEO of DP World has discussed the importance of innovation to future-proof infrastructure delivery and to develop next gen mobility solutions while emphasizing the role of the private sector in delivering these aspirations from the transport and logistics sector perspective.
- Panel discussion «Leveraging Emerging Technologies to Future-proof Delivery of Public Infrastructure and Services»
The discussion revolved around the use of Artificial Intelligence, Big Data and Blockchain technologies to increase productivity, propel economic growth and deal with problems relating to environmental sustainability, energy, food and water security, and improving health and quality of life.
- Panel discussion «Innovative Funding Mechanisms to Catalyse PPPs»
Such topics as the role of ECAs, capital and bond markets in PPPs; the peculiarities of the Sharia financing market were discussed at the panel.
- Presentation “Overview of Public Private Partnerships (PPP) at RTA”
The Roads and Transport Authority (RTA) is an important public player in fostering the development of Dubai’s PPP environment, with a number of successful pioneering projects already delivered in the field of transport and mobility.
- Panel discussion «Innovation Exploratorium: Future of Transport»
The objective of this discussion is to explore recent trends in the transportation sector. The industry experts invited to this panel have explored the concept of intelligent infrastructure, cross-sectoral integration of infrastructure and modern trends in the mobility ecosystem.
- Presentation «Dubai Municipal Sector Spotlight: Success Stories and Project Pipeline»
Dubai Municipality (DM) is a government organisation that has launched one of the world’s largest waste-to-energy plants as a PPP. The participants have learned about the DM’s experience received during the implementation of this and other projects.
- Presentation «Overview of Investment and PPP Opportunities in Health Sector in Dubai»
The Dubai Health Authority (DHA) has been embracing the PPP model as one of the strategic initiatives to promote, facilitate and encourage investment in Dubai’s healthcare sector. Dr Ibtesam Al Bastaki, Director of Investments & Partnerships at the DHA has shed light on the key aspects of pilot PPP projects implemented by DHA.
- Panel discussion «Future-proofing Cities: Driving ESG»
The inclusion of Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) principles in the economic development initiatives was discussed. The objective of this panel was to explore how the ESG principles can be meaningfully incorporated in the planning and development of cities.
The conference presented a wonderful opportunity for networking and exchange of experience regarding the implementation of PPP projects in various spheres. The participants of the conference, being the stakeholders, were able to come together and contribute to innovative solutions that will lead to sustainable and resilient PPPs for building a better future.
The participation in the event has enabled the PPP Agency representatives to better explore the demand for PPP project implementation in Ukraine as well as to lay the basis for future fruitful cooperation, and the advancement of Ukraine’s capacity for the implementation of pilot PPP projects, concessions. Mr Gachechyladze and Ms Sukhoverkha have also provided prospective investors with information on the potential of PPPs in Ukraine.