Gujarat International Finance tech-city

Year:2023 - estimated completion

Duration:10 years - estimated

Cost:$20bn - estimated

Country: Sabarmati river, Gujarat state, India

What did this project achieve?

Build a ‘smart city’ for banks, financial institutions and tech firms from scratch

Gujarat International Finance Tec-City (GIFT City) is a business district currently under construction on the banks of the Sabarmati river in Gujarat state, India.

GIFT City aims to be a ‘smart city’ for India’s growing finance and technology sectors. It hopes that a promise of ‘intelligent design’ and the most modern infrastructure – including gas, electricity and transport – will attract businesses from other parts of India as well as overseas.

The business district is being built between Ahmedabad and Gandhinigar. Construction started on the 886 acre site in 2013 with completion set for 2023.

Project designers aim to build ‘state of the art connectivity’ and urban transport systems into the city from the ground up.

The scheme also intends to make services such as telecoms and broadband – as well as environmental protection – key parts of the city’s design. Innovations include a district-wide cooling system and automated vacuum waste collection.

The new city is currently in the early stages of development and has 3 large office buildings, a school and a data centre. Workers are bussed in from surrounding areas.

City bosses hope GIFT’s first homes will be ready in 2018. A 4 tower World Trade Centre complex is planned for completion by 2020.

GIFT City developers claim the new business district has attracted $2bn of investment.

Difference the new tech city will make

City bosses claim GIFT City will create 500,000 new jobs and another 500,000 indirectly.

It’s expected that Gujarat state’s growing financial industry will get a major boost from new companies attracted to the development.

The new district has already created jobs as GIFT is home to 2 new stock exchanges. One of these – India INX – recently saw $500m of trading in a single day for the first time.

How the building work is being managed

Building a ‘smart city’ from scratch should give engineers the opportunity to plan for future growth while preserving quality of living for its residents.

GIFT City’s ‘ground up’ design should also allow engineers the chance to create an effective mass transit system while still making the streets pedestrian-friendly – encouraging locals to walk where they can.

Other design innovations include putting all electricity cables and gas pipes underground to make maintenance easier.

The district will also see the first city-wide cooling system in India. The scheme saves money as there’s no need to put air conditioning into individual buildings.

Waste disposal is through a vacuum system of underground pneumatic pipes. Waste is sucked through the pipes and sealed in containers to make recycling easier.


India is building a new city to give global investors an easy way into its booming economy.

CNN Money

on GIFT City, March 2018

Fascinating facts

Although GIFT City hopes its smart infrastructure will attract businesses to make the district their home, city bosses are also using tax breaks to encourage investment.

The city has its own financial regulator with a brief to slash red tape [official processes] for overseas companies.

GIFT City has 2 new stock exchanges. A recent decision by the India government to stop sharing data with foreign counterparts may help bring more currency and commodity trading to the business district.

People who made it happen

  • Client: the government of Gujarat
  • Design: East China Architectural Design and Research Institute, Fairwood Consultants India

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