x Abu Dhabi, UAESaturday 20 January 2018

Extra time on Louvre tenders

Companies chasing the high-profile contract to build the Louvre Abu Dhabi have been given an extra three months to submit their tenders.

Companies chasing the high-profile contract to build the Louvre Abu Dhabi have been given an extra three months to submit their tenders. Abu Dhabi's Tourism Development and Investment Company (TDIC) is building the museum as part of its Dh99 billion (US$26.95bn) Saadiyat Island development. "Due to the magnitude and importance of the Louvre Abu Dhabi project, TDIC has taken the decision to extend the tender process until 30 October," it said, adding that the move followed requests from bidders for "additional time to prepare fully compliant submissions".

About 12 contractors are thought to be vying for the project, including Besix, which helped to build Dubai's Burj Khalifa, Lebanon's Arabian Construction Company, Abu Dhabi's Al Jaber LEGT Engineering and Contracting, Australia's Brookfield Multiplex, Al Habtoor Leighton Group in partnership with South Africa's Murray and Roberts and Japan's Taisei Corporation. This is the second time TDIC has pushed back the tender deadline, after the original submission date of July 1 was extended to last Sunday. The extension will not affect the delivery schedule of the museum, which is due to be completed in September 2012, with the opening one year later, TDIC said.

Designed by Jean Nouvel, the Pritzker Architecture Prize-winning French architect, the 24,000 square metre complex is part of Saadiyat Island's Cultural District. The district, which is expected to be completed in 2013, will also include the Zayed National Museum, the Frank Gehry-designed Guggenheim Abu Dhabi, a performing arts centre and a maritime museum. The main construction contract for the Louvre Abu Dhabi was originally expected to be awarded by the end of last year.

However, the master developer altered those plans after it changed the format to cut costs. Although the TDIC would not confirm the cost of building the museum, it is expected to be less than Dh3bn because construction costs have dropped about 30 per cent in the past two years. Bauer International, the German construction company, started piling works in May. agiuffrida@thenational.ae