Dubai’s Roads and Transport Authority (RTA) has announced the signing of an agreement with Majid Al Futtaim Group to develop a plot near the Mall of the Emirates, as well as the Bus and Metro Station bearing the same name.

In a statement, the authority said that the step is a “true manifestation of the Transit-Oriented Development (TOD) concept driven by the RTA”. TOD aims to maximise the amount of residential, business and leisure space within walking distance of public transport, it explained.

This also helps in reducing traffic congestion and promoting environmental sustainability, the statement added.

Abdul Mohsen Ibrahim Younes, CEO of Rail Agency, who signed the agreement on behalf of RTA, along with Ghaith Shocair, CEO of Majid Al Futtaim (Shopping Centres), said that it would help inject further growth in the metro and bus stations of Mall of the Emirates through the development of the land plot between the metro and bus stations, and the Majid Al Futtaim-owed Mall of the Emirates.

He stated that the deal is a graphic example of transit-oriented property development that will ensure the optimal utilisation of government assets. He added that the deal serves the RTA’s objective of boosting Public-Private Partnerships (PPP), which is vital for leveraging the economic growth of the UAE, and especially Dubai.

“It comes at a time when the emirate is heading towards hosting a key economic event, Expo 2020,” he stated.

“PPP concept is on the top of our government’s attention as it believes that economic and social development rest on mustering all community resources along with the expertise of public and private sectors in developing and managing projects at high levels of governance and efficiency. Such projects will also serve mutual and national interests thanks to the concerted efforts the community,” said Younes.

Ghaith Shocair said it was imperative to maintain an integrated, efficient and environmentally sustainable transit system.

“We are pleased to partner with RTA and stand ready to apply our experience in developing the land plot near Mall of the Emirates and the Metro and Bus stations. The project offers a big boost to the concept of transit-oriented development,” remarked Shocair.

“MAF believes in the vitality of PPP and the role of such partnerships in stimulating the growth of various economic and social sectors. Developing unused areas contributes to achieving an optimal solution to work, residential and retail needs together with improved transit systems,” he added.