The UAE Releases New Public-Private Partnership (PPP) Manual


The UAE released a new Public-Private Partnership Manual to enhance collaboration in key sectors like infrastructure and healthcare, aiming to drive sustainable growth and attract foreign investment.

By Giulia Interesse

On June 25, 2024, the UAE Ministry of Finance (MoF) introduced a new Public-Private Partnership (PPP) Manual, following its approval by the UAE Cabinet. This manual aims to enhance collaboration between federal government entities and the private sector by utilizing private sector expertise to propel national and strategic projects in key areas such as infrastructure, energy, healthcare, social services, and education.

The manual outlines a comprehensive policy and procedural framework to ensure the efficient implementation of developmental projects while maximizing benefits for society and the economy. It emphasizes the critical role of private sector involvement in advancing the UAE’s sustainable economic growth goals. By defining clear roles, responsibilities, and governance processes, the manual ensures transparency and accountability in executing partnership projects.

Aligned with Federal Decree-Law No. 12 of 2023, the manual standardizes procedures for PPP contracts, including project proposals, market studies, value-for-money assessments, and partner selection. This structured approach is designed to foster a robust investment environment, encourage public-private collaboration, and facilitate the transfer of knowledge and expertise.

Main objectives of the PPP Manual

The primary objective of the UAE’s PPP Manual is to establish a comprehensive policy and procedural framework that enables federal government entities to implement developmental and strategic projects with greater efficiency and effectiveness. The manual aims to leverage the financial, administrative, and technological expertise of the private sector to enhance government capabilities.

Encouraging active participation from the private sector is another key goal. By inviting private entities to take part in the UAE’s national and strategic projects, the manual seeks to maximize the benefits for society, the nation, and the national economy. This proactive involvement is intended to foster a collaborative environment where both public and private sectors work towards common goals.

Moreover, the manual strives to create optimal conditions for investment in joint projects, ensuring that both public and private entities can effectively design, plan, and execute PPP projects. By providing a clear and transparent guideline, the manual helps streamline operations and processes, thereby ensuring that all parties involved have a thorough understanding of their roles and responsibilities.

Key priority sectors

In the first phase of this initiative, the MoF has identified several priority sectors for future partnership projects. These sectors include:

  • Infrastructure
  • Energy
  • Healthcare
  • Social services
  • Education

The identification of these priority sectors was a strategic effort aimed at building and managing integrated and effective strategies. The government focused on sectors that are critical to the UAE’s long-term development goals and where private sector involvement can bring significant benefits. The process involved extensive consultations and analysis to determine areas where public-private partnerships could have the most substantial impact.

PPP framework in the UAE

The future of PPPs in the UAE is bright, driven by a strategic framework that promotes innovation and sustainability. The Federal Decree-Law No. 12 of 2023, alongside the comprehensive PPP Manual, provides a robust foundation for fostering a dynamic and inclusive economy.

This legal and practical guidance ensures that the UAE remains an attractive destination for international investors and entrepreneurs, encouraging an increase in foreign direct investments by up to 30 percent in the next five years. As the UAE embraces these transformative changes, it is well-positioned to lead the global sustainability agenda, improving the quality of life for all its residents.


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