SEOUL // The builders of Cleveland Clinic Abu Dhabi are seeking an extension to the contract as the 364-bed hospital takes shape on Al Maryah Island.
Slated to take its first patients by the end of this year, it has pushed its construction completion date from an initial target of March of this year to April next year.
South Korea's Samsung C&T, which is building the hospital with the local joint-venture partner Six Construct under a Dh4.71 billion contract, wrote in a stock-exchange filing that it was negotiating with Aldar, the developer chosen by Mubadala, to extend the construction period for a second time.
In March, the three-year construction period, slated to expire, was extended by four months.
"We are talking with the developer regarding changes of our contract, but details are not out yet," said a spokesman in Seoul.
Mubadala broke ground on the site in January 2008.
The 364-bed facility is a challenging construction project not just because it must meet top healthcare standards - the original Cleveland Clinic in north-east Ohio is among the most recognised names in American medicine - but also because of its architecture.
Designed by the international firm Aedas with project work by Nebraska's Henningson, Durham and Richardson, it is set to be the largest steel frame structure in the country.
Cleveland Clinic, which is a non-profit organisation, is to operate the Abu Dhabi facility, which can be expanded to 490 beds in the future if needed.
It is to specialise in neurological treatment, respiratory care, digestive disease and disorders of the eye, heart and vascular system.
"It is thrilling to see the Cleveland Clinic Abu Dhabi structure nearing completion, adding to the unique nature of Al Maryah Island and the Abu Dhabi skyline," said a Mubadala spokesman.
"Given the complexity of building a multi-speciality hospital with very specific and unique care requirements for patients - the first of its kind in the region - we are working to make sure every specification is in place."
The hospital has already recruited some 300 care givers with "the majority of physician chiefs already employed and working to deliver Cleveland Clinic Abu Dhabi as intended", the spokesman added.