Abu Dhabi’s Tourism Development & Investment Company (TDIC) has invited contractors to bid by 15 October for the contract to build the Zayed National Museum on Saadiyat Island.

The prequalifiers include:

The main construction contract includes the concrete superstructure, structural steelwork and specialist cladding, mechanical, electrical and plumbing, and the interior fit-out. The project has been delayed following a strategic review of future projects by Abu Dhabi government in 2011.

In 2010, TDIC told companies it will now procure contractors for the estimated $1bn project using a series of traditional lumpsum contracts. The developer had originally planned to build the museum using a design and build contract.

Italy’s Swissboring completed the enabling works, the local NSCC completed the piling, and a joint venture of the local/Australian Habtoor Leighton Group and South Africa’s Murray & Roberts Contractors completed the substructure.

TDIC is also preparing to tender the main construction contract for the Guggenheim museum on Saadiyat Island. In August, the developer invited contractors to prequalify for the work that comprises concrete substructure, concrete superstructure, structural steelwork, glulam timber structure/glazed cladding to the cones, mechanical, electrical and plumbing works, vertical transportation, specialist security installation, fit-out works and external works.

Criteria that interested companies must meet to bid for the tender include: recent experience on similar projects; a minimum turnover for construction activities of $272m in each of the past three years; and completion of three projects each in excess of $272m in the past five years.

TDIC has also received prequalification documents from contractors for museum infrastructure work on the island’s Cultural District. The works will include the construction of roads, utilities and general infrastructure serving the museums being built on the island. TDIC earlier invited contractors to prequalify for a contract to build a tunnel serving the Cultural District.

Work has already started on the Louvre museum project. In January, TDIC awarded the main construction contract to a joint venture of the local Arabtec, Spain’s Constructora San Jose and Oger Abu Dhabi.

Like the Zayed museum, the award of that contract had been delayed. It had 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.