The scheme is the United Arab Emirates’ first public-private partnership in the education sector and is being hailed as a trailblazer for private sector participation in the development of the UAE’s social infrastructure.
The Besix-Plenary consortium was chosen by the Abu Dhabi Investment Office (ADIO) and the Abu Dhabi Department of Education & Knowledge (ADEK). The deal covers the financing, design, procurement, construction, commissioning and 20-year operation and maintenance of three new school campuses with a total capacity of 5,360 students in Zayed City.
Financial support is provided by HSBC, Intesa Sanpaolo and The Norinchukin Bank.
The school campuses are to employ modern facilities and equipment, allowing for high quality education. All the buildings are to be designed and built to comply with level 2 of Abu Dhabi’s Estidama Pearl environmental rating system which is loosely based on the UK’s BREEAM and the USA’s LEED systems.
The buildings will be low-energy with a focus on usage and consumption efficiency, and the partners will give priority to the use of locally-produced building materials.
The project covers a greenfield plot for each of the three new schools across Zayed City, a 4,900-hectare construction project being built seven kilometres inland from Abu Dhabi Island, between Mohamed Bin Zayed City and the Abu Dhabi International Airport.
Construction on site is expected to start this year and be completed in August 2024, with schools opening in September 2024.