Pinsent Masons advises on first PPP financing of social infrastructure project in UAE


The Zayed City Schools project concerns the design, construction, financing, maintenance and transfer of three school campuses with a capacity of 5,360 students in the city of Zayed in Abu Dhabi. As the first such project under Abu Dhabi’s new PPP regulatory framework, it is expected to pave the way for increased private sector participation in the provision of social infrastructure in Abu Dhabi.

A multi-jurisdictional team at Pinsent Masons advising lenders was led by Middle East manager Catherine Workman and Matthew Escritt in Dubai, with support from Gurmeet Kaur and Aidan Fittis in Dubai, Martin Bishop and James Harris in Singapore and Jeremy King and Michael Capsalis in Melbourne. .

Commenting on the deal, Catherine Workman, Head of Middle East at Pinsent Masons, said:

“We are proud to have been part of the team that achieved such a significant and game-changing transaction within such a significant time frame. We are confident that it will pave the way for increased private sector participation in the provision of social infrastructure. essential in Abu Dhabi and the whole of the United Arab Emirates. Our congratulations to everyone involved.”

The campuses have been designed to meet Estidama’s sustainability requirements and ensure Covid-19 resilience in terms of spatial layout and use. The financing was also documented in accordance with APLMA’s Social Lending Principles, with HSBC acting as Social Lending Coordinator on the transaction. Schools are scheduled to open for the start of the school year in September 2024.


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