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Lion Relief, 6th century BC glazed brick panel, in the Louvre in Paris: soon artworks such as this will be on display on Saadiyat Island.
Lion Relief, 6th century BC glazed brick panel, in the Louvre in Paris: soon artworks such as this will be on display on Saadiyat Island.

Louvre contractor to be announced by years' end

The contractor for the main construction of The Louvre Museum on Saadiyat Island will be appointed by the end of the year.

The Tourism Development and Investment Company (TDIC) expects to appoint a contractor for the main construction of The Louvre Museum on Saadiyat Island by the end of the year. A shortlist of contractors for the project, which has been designed by French architect Jean Nouvel, is being drawn up. Arabtec Construction and Al Habtoor Leighton Group are among the firms bidding for the project, which is expected to be completed in 2013.

"By the end of this year an announcement will be made about The Louvre," said Al al Hammadi, assistant development director at TDIC. The company has also invited contractors to bid for the Dh2.75 billion (US$748m) contract to build The Guggenheim Museum, which will also form part of the cultural district on Saadiyat Island and is expected to begin construction early next year. Mr al Hammadi added that TDIC was assessing bids from a mix of local and international contractors.

"In any of our tenders, we have an evaluation list that looks at everything from technicality to price and the situation and portfolio of the contractor," he said. "For the Louvre and Guggenheim, we need a specialised contractors and that's why we are going to look at our options locally and internationally to see how we can get the best quality for our budget." Parisian museum goers have been shocked by the news that the Louvre in the French capital will soon have a McDonald's by the entrance. So can we expect a KFC or a chicken shawarma stall in The Louvre in Abu Dhabi? TDIC was unwilling to comment.

agiuffrida@thenational.ae

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