Abu Dhabi’s Tourism Development & Investment Company (TDIC) is retendering some of the villas it is developing on Saadiyat island.

The villas were being built by the Al-Jaber Group as part of a AED1bn ($272m) contract to build 295 villas the local contractor won in August 2009 (MEED 29:8:09).

“TDIC and Al-Jaber have been working, and continue to work, in partnership on the Saadiyat Beach Villas to deliver the residential project to the highest standard,” says a TDIC spokesman. “In order to best manage some of the challenges that have arisen, and in the interests of buyers, TDIC has returned to the market to explore opportunities in leveraging resources for the completion of the project.”

Al-Jaber’s contract replaced an even earlier agreement that was signed by TDIC with another local contractor, Arabtec Construction. That deal involved the construction of 560 villas.

Saadiyat Island is one of the largest projects in the UAE and includes hotels, villas and a cultural district.

One of the most prestigious buildings on the island will be the estimated $1bn Louvre museum, for which contractors are waiting for TDIC to award the main construction contract.

In March 2011, TDIC shortlisted Australia’s Multiplex and a joint venture of the local/Australian Al-Habtoor Leighton Group and South Africa’s Murray & Roberts Contractors (Middle East) for the contract (MEED 25:3:11).