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Licensing Electricity Generation

Dubai long retained a vertically integrated power and water sector in which Dubai Electricity and Water Authority (DEWA) owned and operated all power production and water desalination plants, in addition to the associated transmission and distribution networks. In the past decade Dubai has permitted private sector participation – both small scale plant developed by industrial customers to meet their own needs and partnerships with the private sector in large-scale electricity and water production projects.

In line with Dubai’s strategy of diversifying its electricity generation fuel mix, Law No 6 of 2011 establishes a framework for private sector participation in the water and electricity sector.
Independent power producers, licensed by the RSB, are playing an increasing role in Dubai’s power sector. They have to meet technical standards contained in the IWPP Code and, where applicable, the Renewables Standards. Dubai’s power grid is already receiving renewable electricity from IPPs and expects the contribution of clean coal soon. DEWA remains the single buyer from these projects.



The following legislation is particularly relevant to our role in the energy sector:

Law 19 of 2009 Establishing the Supreme Council of Energy

Executive Council Resolution 2 of 2010 Establishing the Regulatory and Supervisory Bureau for Electricity and Water Sector in Dubai

Law 6 of 2011 Regulating the Participation of the Private Sector in Electricity and Water Production in the Emirate of Dubai

Executive Council Resolution 43 of 2015 setting the fees to be charged by the Regulatory and Supervisory Bureau for the Electricity and Water Sector in the Emirate of Dubai

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Standards, Codes & Regulations

The relationship between DEWA as operator of the electricity transmission system and Independent Power Producers is governed by an IWPP Code.
A set of Renewables Standards also set technical requirements for plant of this type.
To uphold the safety and integrity of the grid, and taking into account the mix and development of technologies being employed in Dubai’s electricity sector, the RSB and DEWA continue to review, enhance and modernise the IWPP Code and Renewables Standards through their respective review panels. The panels, with members from the RSB, DEWA and licensees, assess and recommend changes to the code and standards whenever needed, and submit these recommendations to the RSB Board for approval.

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One of the RSB’s main duties is to license new entrants in the markets for electricity and water production. To provide clarity for investors, as is expected of a transparent regulatory regime, the RSB operates a licensing regime that balances the objective of not placing an undue burden on business with the need to maintain security of supply and ensure the health and safety of employees and the general public.

To date, the RSB has granted the following licences:

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