Dubai finalises USD 2.5 billion in fundraising for a 15 km (nine miles) extension of its metro to the World Expo site. The project is worth around USD 2.9 billion and will run up about USD 2.5 billion in debt. Of this, approximately USD 1.5 billion is backed by export credit agencies (ECAs) and the rest is a commercial loan.
The agencies backing the financing are France’s Coface (COFACE) and Spain’s CESCE España. The commercial loan has a ten-year tenor and the ECA-backed financing has a maturity of about 18 years, says the banking sources.
The government had made an advance payment of AED 600 million (USD 165 million) to a consortium of contractors, including France’s Alstom, Spain’s Acciona, and Turkey’s Gulermak, said Mattar al-Tayer, chairman and director general of Dubai’s Roads and Transport Authority. The consortium was awarded an AED 10.6 billion contract in June 2016, including procuring 50 trains, 35 of them to upgrade the metro service and 15 for the World Expo service.
With four years to go until Dubai hosts the Middle East’s first World Expo, the pre-event boom is well and underway. The Expo 2020 is one of the aspects of the UAE Vision 2021, a government blueprint for diversifying UAE’s economy in a post-oil era, securing its status as a hub for investment, trade, tourism, and transport.
Expo 2020 is a Universal scale Registered Exposition time slot sanctioned by the Bureau of International Expositions (BIE), Paris on 27 November 2013 and Dubai won the right to hold it.