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Dubai transport authority seeks private partner for train station project

Dubai's Union Oasis train station commercial development will be put to tender in May 2015, the Dubai Roads and Transport Authority has said.04 Mar 2015

Developers will be invited to submit tenders for the project which will involve the construction of recreational facilities and green areas alongside residential and commercial property.

The RTA is looking for a private sector partner for a public-private partnership to deliver the project, it said.

Abdullah Yousef Al Ali, chief executive of RTA’s rail agency, said: "The Union Oasis Project is the first manifestation of the transit-oriented development concept in the region; which promises to be a prominent destination for residents and visitors of Dubai. This vital project focuses on developing the Union Square by providing an exquisite environment including residential units, offices, pedestrian-friendly streets, landscapes, vital utilities and retail outlets among others."

Interested developers and investors can obtain the guidelines by signing in to the project webpage through RTA’s website, Al Ali said.

"In 2011 the RTA suggested that 30% of its projects over the following five years will be tendered as PPPs [public private partnerships]," said Sachin Kerur, a construction expert at Pinsent Masons, the law firm behind Out-Law.com. "There is therefore seemingly little doubt that many UAE agencies such as the RTA acknowledge the benefits of the private sector in managing, operating and funding infrastructure projects and are happy to capitalise on its skills and resources to generate necessary value from the procurement process."

The Union Oasis development will cover 15,000 square meters in an area that was formerly a public park above Dubai's Union Metro Station, Arabian Business reported. As well as providing access to the metro station, the site is 200 metres from a bus terminal and 500 metres from Dubai's marine station, the report said.

The RTA is keen to promote the use of public transport and to rejuvenate the Deija neighbourhood around Union Metro station. The planned pedestrian-oriented streetscape, landscaping and buildings will support users travelling on public transport, and also provide a comfortable environment for residents and visitors in a highly populated area, the RTA said.