Abu Dhabi keeps the Smart City dream alive


By Tripti

‘Smart City’ is one of the many ambitious projects of India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi that is aimed at altering the urban backdrop of the nation by making cities all-inclusive and livable, in addition to driving the growth in economy here. Under this program, every selected city, which falls under this scheme, will get central government’s assistance of around Rs 100 crore every year for a period of around five years.

The 2015 federal budget also includes provisions for the ‘smart living and smart practices’, with around USD 1 billion allotted for this Urban Rejuvenation Mission and approximately USD 84 million reserved for the development and habitation of these 100 selected smart cities. The budget is forecasted to enhance investments into tourism, infrastructure, innovation, renewable energy, and livability, consistent with the sharp focus on the smart cities.

If it all goes according to the government’s plans, all states will, in due course, will have at least one ‘Smart City’.

The prime minister has started bringing this plan to action. He has been talking to a number of countries like Japan, Singapore, and France etc. who all have extended their help in transforming cities and states like Nagpur, Varanasi, and Andhra Pradesh into smart cities.

The latest addition in the cities that have come forward to help this transformation is Abu Dhabi.

A real estate company based in Abu Dhabi has gone into a strategic partnership with Indian builder firm to institute ‘Smart City’ projects in the country. Every chosen city under this scheme will get a central funding help of Rs 100 crore every year for development and maintenance afterwards.

Abu Dhabi’s real estate giant, Tasweek Real Estate Development’s newly formed Strategic Partnership with the MAMS Holdings Group, has established itself as an international construction and development company to communally pursue investment and business projections in the GCC and India.

The member states of GCC are the UAE, Oman, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, and Bahrain. To shape the partnership, MAMS Holdings Group and Tasweek officials, recently, met the Chief Minister of Uttar Pradesh Akhilesh Yadav to talk about various investment prospects related to the ‘Smart City’ and the urban development that can be initialized in U.P.

The Chief Minister said that he is interested in delivering affordable smart residential solutions and constructing 2,00,000 low priced houses in the state in some years. The terms of agreement mentioned that the partners will predominantly pursue commercial, residential, and mixed-use construction empowered with all the ‘smart’ technologies of India.

They also plan to focus on the investment prospects in the affordable housing concept, as part of their agreement.

The CEO of TASWEEK Real Estate Development, Masood Al Awar, said that their partnership with the MAMS Holdings is very strategic and timely as they have access to the local market ‘know-how’ and expertise on how to back the affordable but ‘smart living’, starting with U.P. and reaching other states of India like Andhra Pradesh, Jammu and Kashmir, Kolkata, and Telangana.

He added that they will continue discussing breaks with their partner in association with the long-term development agenda of India.

While the naysayers still doubt how Modi will be able to carry it off, the transformation has already started with examples like Gujarat’s GIFT City leading it.