Photo in caption:
An aerial view of
Dubai Internet City which will serve as the model for SmartCity@Malta.
Smart City Malta plans unveiled in Dubai
Government of Malta announces Framework Discussions with Tecom
Investments of Dubai on the set up Of the New ‘Smartcity@Malta’ are
in an advanced stage
The Government of Malta
announces that the framework discussions with Tecom Investments of
Dubai on the setting up a new ‘SmartCity@Malta’ in the area today
known as the Ricasoli Industrial Estate and in land adjacent to that
site, are in an advanced stage. The conclusion of the framework
discussions is expected to be followed by the signing of a Heads of
Agreement in the coming weeks.
‘SmartCity@Malta’ is projected to be the largest ever ICT private
sector project and foreign direct investment as well as the largest
ever new source of knowledge-based jobs to be secured by Malta.
Tecom Investments is a leading full service telecommunications
network operator and service provider and are the originators,
developers and operators of the ‘Dubai Internet City’ which groups
together over 700 tenant ICT companies: the world’s largest managed
entity for ICT providers. Tecom are also the originators, developers
and operators of ‘Dubai Media City’ (grouping together over 900
tenant companies) and the ‘Knowledge Village’ which houses over 260
educational institutions in a single campus. Collectively, these
zones employ over 15,000 employees.
The Government has entered into discussions with Tecom Investments
as part of its concerted and concentrated efforts to create
large-scale employment in the country coupled with significant new
sources of foreign direct investments with the concomitant economic
spin-offs. This program has been synergised over the past three
years with the national effort to place Malta on the global ICT map
as a leader in the region. The Government has also aimed to exploit
this opportunity to partner with a leading ICT player to regenerate
infrastructure as well as support the creation of jobs in the south
of Malta as part of the drive to transform the south into a
services-based hub in the region.
The new ‘SmartCity@ Malta ’ will include a new full-fledged ICT and
Media Smart City on the models developed by the same organisation in
Dubai . This project will also be accompanied by new
state-of-the-art use of the environment of the site with the
development of a hotel and other activities to help attract
knowledge-based operations to the site. This is expected to create a
cluster environment to service tenants in the site in a
cost-effective and efficient manner.
The Government believes that the fact that the new ‘SmartCity@Malta’
will be a first for the entire European Union, it will be the ideal
European outpost for global ICT/Media companies wishing to establish
a presence in Europe.
Over an eight-year period, the new ‘SmartCity@Malta’ is projected to
create 5,600 new jobs, around 65% of which will be new jobs in Malta
’s knowledge-industry. The remaining jobs will be created in areas
such as administration, hospitality, retail, maintenance, security
and logistics. This will make this project the largest ever
job-creator under one roof in Malta ’s history.
The new ‘SmartCity@Malta’ will establish the south of Malta as the
core service hub of the island, enhancing its environment and
creating jobs in the region reducing the dependency on the
manufacturing industries. A significant component of the site will
be developed as open space enhancing the environmental quality of
the ICT and media business park, lodging, tourism and commercial
areas of the site.
In the framework discussions, the Government of Malta has agreed to
invest the land into the project whilst Tecom is expected to
undertake an investment of approximately US$300 million over the
coming 8 years. The first deliverables from this project are
expected by 2008. Government will be retaining an equity in the
project and will be benefiting from the investments carried out in
the public spaces.
Tecom Investments is also undertaking to participate in initiatives
to assist the further development of ICT education in Malta . It
will also work with the Local Councils of Kalkara and Xgħajra to
ensure that the residents of the towns neighbouring the
‘SmartCity@Malta’ will be among the first to benefit from this
development. Specific projects with persons with disabilities and to
help inmates of drug-rehabilitation programmes have also been agreed
The Government is satisfied that this investment will have benefits
beyond those immediately obvious in terms of job-creation and
foreign direct investment. This project is bound to bring about a
substantial boost to Malta ’s construction, hospitality, maritime,
services and retail activities. This development will also earn
Malta a sharper image of partnership with private investment
particularly, but not exclusively, in the knowledge sector.
To ensure that the country maximises from the benefits of this new
project the Ministry for Investment, Industry and Information
Technology will be conducting a widespread consultation process with
all stakeholders including Local Councils over the coming months.
Indeed all elements of the Maltese economy, as well as the
environment of the country, stand to benefit greatly from the
realisation of the new ‘SmartCity@Malta’. This will be even more
especially true if all stake-holders co-ordinate their interests and
needs to make the best from this new development.
Minister Gatt explained that the next step in this project is for
the Heads of Agreement to be concluded, following which a final
stage of discussions leading to a final agreement will be
immediately engaged into, with a view of concluding the agreement
and commence works during 2006.