Text size:

  • Small
  • Normal
  • Large
An artist's rendering of the Qatar National Museum. Courtesy Qatar Museums Authority
An artist's rendering of the Qatar National Museum. Courtesy Qatar Museums Authority

Qatar awards $434 million museum work to Hyundai

Qatar has awarded a South Korean company a $434 million contract to build a new national museum as it makes a play to woo cultural tourists.

Qatar is upping the competition for museum enthusiasts and art lovers as well as football fanatics.

The Qatar Museums Authority yesterday awarded Hyundai Engineering & Construction a US$434 million (Dh1.59 billion) contract to build the Qatar National Museum in Doha.

The South Korean company said it would take 33 months to finish the building, designed by the French architect Jean Nouvel.

Mr Nouvel is also the designer of the branch of the Louvre Museum under development on Saadiyat Island, where Abu Dhabi is building its own cultural attractions. Saadiyat will also be the home to the UAE's National Museum and a branch of the Guggenheim Museum designed by another renowned architect, Frank Gehry.

Qatar made international headlines by earning the right to host the 2022 Fifa World Cup, and the announcement last month of its bid for the 2020 Summer Olympics. But cultural tourism is a much different sport with different stakes. The prize is a growing segment of regional touristsseeking attractions closer to home.

"There is a whole group of tourists who don't have the interest or funds to travel outside the region," said Rob O'Hanlon, an Oman-based partner in Deloitte. Unlike the World Cup and other sporting events, which attract tourists for a short time, cultural sites are year-round draws, Mr O'Hanlon said. "The key is widening the offering to make it worthwhile [for tourists] to spend the cost."

Qatar is currently a bit player on the regional tourism scene. It attracted a million tourists last year compared to 13 million for Egypt, 12 million in Saudi Arabia and nine million in the UAE, according to Euromonitor International.

Qatar's National Museum will join the Museum of Islamic Art in Doha designed by IM Pei, which opened in 2008, as well as the Arab Museum of Modern Art, which opened in the Qatari capital last December.

A photography museum is also under development.

kbrass@thenational.ae

Back to the top

More articles


Editor's Picks

 The Greens, villas: Q1 no change. 3BR - Dh210-250,000. 4BR - Dh210-260,000. 5BR - Dh220-300,000. Q1 2013-Q1 2014 5% rise. Pawan Singh / The National

In pictures: Where Dubai rents have risen and fallen, Q1 2014

Find out how rental prices in the prime locations in Dubai have altered during the first three months of the year and the current rates you will pay according to data provided by Asteco.

 Miele coffee maker making Cappuccino at Miele Gallery in Sama Tower in Dubai. The cost of this coffee maker is around Dh 17,000. Pawan Singh / The National

Space-age coffee comes at a price from Miele

Miele have taken the coffee machine to a new level with its Dh17,000 offering that is built into your kitchen.

 The bridge of Seajacks Hydra, as the wind farm installation vessel undergoes finishing touches and testing works at Lamprell’s Hamriyah facility in Sharjah before its planned delivery on June 2, 2014. Jeffrey E Biteng / The National

In pictures: Building the Seajacks Hydra

The Seajacks Hydra, a wind farm installation vessel, is undergoing finishing touches and testing works at Lamprell’s Hamriyah facility in Sharjah before its planned delivery on June 2, 2014.

 The Wind, Energy, Technology and Environment Exhibition takes place from April 14 to April 16. Above, the Dewa showroom during last year’s Wetex. Jaime Puebla / The National

April corporate and economic calendar for the UAE and overseas

From Cityscape to Wetex to stock-market holidays to nations reporting first-quarter GDP figures, here is our helpful calendar of April's business events in the UAE and internationally.

 The rush of new supply of hotel rooms pushed Dubai occupancy rates down to 87 per cent. Sarah Dea / The National

Dubai hotel room rates rise 10 per cent

The rush of new supply pushed occupancy rates down to 87 per cent, a dip of 2.6 per cent from the previous year. Winter months are the strongest for Dubai hotels, with occupancy and prices falling to half their peaks by July.

 Get the latest information on credit cards, bank accounts and loan products in the UAE. Mark Lennihan / AP Photo

Rates report: Latest on UAE loans, accounts and credit cards

Souqamal.com brings you the latest interest rates on banking products in the UAE.

Events

To add your event to The National listings, click here

Get the most from The National