Zayed City Schools awarded Deal of the Year 2022

9 May 2023

Last week, the Zayed City Schools project was awarded the Social Infrastructure Deal of the Year 2022 for the Middle East & Africa region at the IJGlobal Awards. Zayed City Schools is the UAE's first public-private partnership in the field of school infrastructure, a pioneering project paving the way for private sector participation in the development of the country's social infrastructure. The financial close was reached in July 2022.

From left to right: Mohamed Badr El Din, Lennert Rasking, Nawara Msallati & Romain Kao

The Abu Dhabi Investment Office (ADIO) and Abu Dhabi Department of Education and Knowledge (ADEK) awarded the public-private partnership project to a consortium led by BESIX and Plenary. The contract covers the design, procurement, construction, financing, commissioning and 20-year operations and maintenance of three new school campuses with an aggregate capacity of 5,360 students in Abu Dhabi’s Zayed City. Construction on site has started during the third quarter of 2022 and will be completed in August 2024, with schools opening in September 2024.

On Wednesday 26th April 2023, the winners of the IJGlobal Awards 2022 were announced. These awards celebrate and recognise outstanding infrastructure projects of which the transaction was closed in the previous year. Projects are evaluated based on criteria such as innovation, execution, sustainability, financial structure and social impact. The Zayed City Schools PPP received the MENA Social Infrastructure Deal of the Year award for 2022.

Nico De Koning, Head of PPP Tenders & Asset Management: “We are extremely proud with the recognition of Deal of the Year by IJGlobal Awards for the Zayed City Schools project. Winning such an award is a significant achievement for all those involved, who we want to thank for their dedication and hard work. Also, thank you to ADIO and ADEK for their confidence in our company, and to our partner Plenary, in whom we have found a world-class partner to develop and deliver this project successfully.”

World-class school campuses

The campus buildings have a dual priority of academic excellence and high environmental performance, and will feature state-of-the-art facilities and equipment, allowing for world-class, high-end education. Catering to students from kindergarten to grade 12, they will empower more students to access quality education opportunities, to learn and thrive in a healthy and safe environment.

In terms of environmental performance, the buildings are aiming high as well, as they have been designed and will be built following high sustainability standards, such as the Estidama Pearl 2. In addition, they will be low-energy buildings with a focus on usage and consumptions efficiency, and priority is given to the use of locally produced building materials.