Abu Dhabi’s Tourism Development & Investment Company (TDIC) has shortlisted three groups for the contract to build its estimated $1bn Louvre museum on Saadiyat Island.

The three groups are:

  • Arabtec Construction (local)/San Jose (Spain)/Oger Abu Dhabi (local/Saudi Arabia)
  • Six Construct Abu Dhabi (local/Belgium)
  • El-Seif Engineering & Contracting (Saudi Arabia)

Contractors submitted bids for the contract in mid-November. The project is one of the largest building schemes to have been tendered in Abu Dhabi this year, and a wide range of international and regional contractors were competing for the work.

The landmark project, which is one of the most high-profile projects planned for Abu Dhabi, has been tendered three times since it was first launched in 2007 as part of a wide-ranging cultural accord signed by Abu Dhabi and France. It was first tendered in 2009 as a design and build scheme, and then tendered again in 2010 as a traditional construction contract. That tender was cancelled after TDIC shortlisted two contractors in early 2011.

The two contractors, the joint venture of the local/Australian Al-Habtoor Leighton Group and South Africa’s Murray & Roberts Contractors (Middle East) and Canada’s Brookfield Multiplex did not prequalify for the most recent tender. Regional contractors hope that that the contract will be awarded this time after the Abu Dhabi Executive Council approved the museum’s planned expenditure in January.

The main package will involve the concrete structure and superstructure works, structural steel works, cladding and mechanical, electrical and plumbing (MEP) works. Designed by French architect Jean Nouvel, the Louvre Abu Dhabi is part of the capital’s 18-square-kilometre Saadiyat Island Cultural District. Piling work on the Louvre project has been completed by Germany’s Bauer.