Abu Dhabi government-owned investment vehicle Mubadala Development Company has awarded the local/UK Al-Futtaim Carillion a contract to design and build the New York University Abu Dhabi’s main campus on Saadiyat Island.

The campus will be built at Saadiyat Island’s cultural district. It will have lecture theatres, IT buildings, a library, laboratories, accommodation and sports facilities.

Construction work is scheduled to begin in the third quarter of this year, with the estimated completion date set as the first quarter of 2014.

Al-Futtaim Carillion saw off competition from at least six other bidders for the university deal.

The other bidders included Greece’s Aktor; a joint venture of the UAE’s Al-Habtoor Engineering Enterprises and South Africa’s Murray & Roberts Contractors (Middle East); the local Arabtec Construction; and Saudi Arabia’s El-Seif Engineering & Contracting; and the local National Projects Construction (NPC) with Singapore’s Sembawang Engineers & Contractors.

The US-based Rafael Vinoly Architects prepared the masterplan for the university.

Mubadala is the developer of New York University’s main campus on a build, own, operate and transfer basis.

Mubadala is developing two other universities in Abu Dhabi: Zayed University in Khalifa City and the Paris-Sorbonne University campus on Reem Island. The Al-Habtoor/Murray & Roberts joint venture is the construction contractor on both schemes.

In Al-Ain, Mubadala is currently evaluating bids for a contract to build the third phase of the UAE University campus.

The successful bidder will replace Oger Abu Dhabi, the local affiliate of Saudi Oger, which was awarded an estimated AED1.5bn ($408m) construction contract for the first three phases of the project in late 2006. Oger has completed the first two phases, but has since agreed with the client to withdraw from the project (MEED 16:2:10).