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Trowers & Hamlins advises on the first housing PPP in the Middle East

Trowers & Hamlins advises on the first housing PPP in the Middle East

BD208 million (approx. 355 million GBP) housing PPP intended to tackle nationwide housing shortage and reduce waiting lists delivering over 4,000 units of social and affordable housing

Trowers & Hamlins acted for the consortium led by the real estate and infrastructure development company Naseej B.S.C (c), which signed a deal with the Ministry of Housing of the Government of Bahrain for the development of Bahrain's first housing PPP on 2 January 2012. The project spans three sites and will involve the procurement of 4,100 units over a period of three and a half years. Conclusion of the financing arrangements will follow in the coming months.

It is believed that this is the first public-private sector partnership of its kind in the Middle East region and is the biggest single project awarded by the Government of Bahrain's Ministry of Housing in its history.

The progress of this project has been keenly monitored by other governments in the region where the lack of affordable housing for growing populations is becoming more and more acute.  Trowers & Hamlins has acted as lead legal counsel on the deal since the Naseej-led consortium was appointed preferred bidder in late 2010.  PricewaterhouseCoopers acted as financial advisor.

Abdul-Haq Mohammed, partner and head of Middle East real estate at Trowers & Hamlins commented: "The Bahraini Government and our client the Naseej consortium have set an important precedent for the region with this deal.  We are delighted to have been involved in this groundbreaking project, which has allowed us to demonstrate how we can combine our market leading housing expertise with our experience of PPP and development work in the MENA region."

Stewart Simpson, projects partner at Trowers & Hamlins said:  "The pent-up demand for affordable housing across the MENA region offers significant opportunities to first movers.  By closing this deal, the Naseej consortium has put itself at the forefront of the sector's development in this region.  We are very pleased to have worked with our client as it explored potential housing solutions for this PPP project, which process has ultimately led to a signed deal."

Partners Abdul-Haq Mohammed and Stewart Simpson led the project supported by a team of lawyers based in the Bahrain and Dubai offices of Trowers & Hamlins, including partners Neale Downes and Michael O'Reilly and associates Peter Hawkes and Peter Greatrex. Specialist housing expertise was provided from London by partners Tonia Secker and Ian Graham.  

The Government of Bahrain was advised by Ernst & Young and Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer LLP.