The Abu Dhabi Authority for Culture & Heritage has invited firms to express interest in an estimated AED170m ($46m) contract to build a research centre adjacent to Qasr al-Muwaiji, a fort in Al-Ain.

The research centre is the second phase of the redevelopment of the fort. The work includes auditoriums, lecture rooms, a library, an exhibition hall, restaurants and cafes. The authority plans to finish work on the research centre by May 2011.

Contractors are already working on the first phase of the project, building an exhibition hall and galleries in the fort as well as infrastructure at the site.

The completion date for the first phase is March 2010 and UK-based Davis Langdon is the project manager.

Qasr al-Muwaiji was built in 1890 and was the birthplace of UAE President and ruler of Abu Dhabi Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed al-Nahyan.

Another government agency is developing a cultural attraction in Al-Ain.

In late September, the UAE’s Zoo & Aquarium Public Institution invited contractors to prequalify for a construction contract at the Al-Ain Wildlife Park & Resort project.

The institution will invite contractors to bid for work on three areas of the project known as Oasis World, African Village and North Kenya Safari.

In August, the institution invited contractors to prequalify for a contract to build a resort hotel, villas and staff accommodation at the park.

The overall wildlife park project will cover 9 square kilometres and will include a zoo and safari park, recreating desert environments from the Arabian peninsula, Africa, Asia, Australia and America.

The zoo will open to the public in 2013.

The local Hilalco won the contract to build the park’s infrastructure in June.

US-based CH2M Hill is the programme manager. San Diego Zoo is a strategic partner on the project.