Abu Dhabi’s Tourism Development & Investment Company (TDIC) has told companies that it will now procure contractors for its estimated $1bn Zayed National Museum project on Saadiyat Island using a series of traditional lump sum contracts.

The developer had originally planned to build the museum using a design and build contract for the entire project, but will now issue tenders for a series of construction packages for the substructure, and the main construction works.

Groups that have prequalified for the main construction package include the local/UK Aldar Laing O’Rourke; the local/Australian Al-Habtoor Leighton Group in a joint venture with South Africa’s Murray & Roberts Contractors (Middle East); the local/Lebanese Arabian Construction Company (ACC); a French joint venture of Bouygues and Vinci Grand Projets; Athens-based Consolidated Contractors Company; Germany’s Ed Zueblin; South Korea’s Hyundai Engineering & Construction, Australia’s Multiplex; South Korea’s Samsung Corporation; a South Korean group of Ssangyong Corporation, Daewoo Engineering & Construction, Posco Engineering & Construction, and Hanmi Parsons; and Japan’s Taisei Corporation.

Developer will issue tenders for construction packages for the substructure and main works

Designed by UK-based Foster & Partners, the museum will feature exhibits on the life of the late Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan al-Nahyan, the founding president of the UAE and former ruler of Abu Dhabi.

TDIC made similar changes to its procurement strategy for its estimated $1bn Louvre Abu Dhabi museum in December last year (MEED 16:12:09).

It has now invited selected companies to bid by 23 March for the contract to build the substructure for the Louvre. The concrete substructure package follows the award of a piling contract to Germany’s Bauer, which has also completed the enabling works package including excavation.

Bauer’s 20-week piling contract involves driving 5,638 piles. For the excavation, the contractor removed 503,000 cubic metres of material for the base of the museum.

The main construction package for the Louvre will be tendered later in 2010.

The two museums are part of Saadiyat’s cultural district, which also includes the Guggenheim Abu Dhabi designed by US-based Frank Gehry, a performing arts centre designed by UK-based Zaha Hadid, and a maritime museum designed by Japan’s Tadao Ando.

US-based Aecom is the programme manager for the cultural district.