RATP Dev – the international subsidiary of RATP Group, the French state-owned public transport operator and one of the largest public transport operators in the world – and Zain Capital LLC, part of the Lakhraim Business Group, have announced the establishment of a new joint venture company in the UAE. RATP Dev Transportation LLC is being set up in Abu Dhabi to serve the growing needs of the UAE for advanced public transportation solutions.
In June 2015, RATP Dev signed a partnership with UAE-based Lakhraim Business Group to set up a joint venture targeting the leading transport projects in the United Arab Emirates. The formation of Transportation LLC is the latest step in the process.
RATP Group is acknowledged as a world leader in passenger transport, operating the Paris metro, tram and bus system, and is well positioned to provide the MENA region with new transport systems that meet the highest international standards.
RATP Dev is currently working on large-scale projects to implement, operate and maintain public transportation systems across the region, from the first ever bus network in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, to the first tramway system in Doha, Qatar. RATP Dev operates four transport systems in Algeria with a further four new tramway operations in Algeria scheduled to begin operating in the next two years. RATP Dev also operates the Casa Tram system in Casablanca, Morocco.
Commenting on the new company in the UAE, RATP Dev Chief Executive, François-Xavier Perin, said: “The UAE is a key public transportation market within the MENA region and has a unique vision of becoming a smart city, with all the mobility and connectivity requirements this entails, as well as practical infrastructure needs to serve the growing population, increasing numbers of visitors, and major events such as World Expo 2020. Through this new company, we believe RATP Dev will be in a stronger position to support and contribute to the UAE public transportation sector through our considerable expertise and resources.”
Olivier Badard, Director of the Middle East and Asia Business Unit, RATP Dev, added: “Zain Capital is the perfect partner to work with RATP Dev to address the attractive UAE market opportunity for public transportation projects, with its extensive range of contacts and finance and investment expertise. The UAE offers a unique and interesting mix of greenfield sites and established projects, in which we are able to use our expertise to address legacy systems and integrate these with new infrastructure.”
UITP’s (International Association of Public Transport) MENA transport report released in 2015 by the UITP MENA Centre for Transport Excellence highlights the scale and value of public transport projects across the region. According to UITP, Middle East countries are investing heavily in public transport projects, especially in rail.
The region has allocated over $250bn to various railway projects over the next decade, which will result in 67,000km of railway tracks throughout the region. Current investment in ongoing rail projects reached over $180bn in early 2013 and the most recent estimations suggest the region has approximately 34,000km of completed tracks. The top eight projects have a combined budget of more than USD65bn.
RATP Dev currently has over 6,000 employees working in the Asia–Middle East region and expects to grow its workforce to over 10,000 within the next two years.