Abu Dhabi’s Tourism Development & Investment Company has still not awarded the main construction contract for its estimated $1bn Louvre museum project on Saadiyat Island – almost one year after it received bids from contractors.

In March, TDIC shortlisted Australia’s Multiplex and a joint venture of the local/Australian Al-Habtoor Leighton Group with South Africa’s Murray & Roberts Contractors (Middle East) for contract and was expected to make an award before the summer (MEED 30:5:11).

TDIC received bids from at least five groups for the 24,000-square-metre museum in November 2010. The client is still evaluating bids for the substructure package. Piling work on the museum has been completed by Germany’s Bauer.

TDIC originally planned to build the museum under a design and build contract for the entire scheme, but subsequently decided to issue tenders for a series of lump-sum construction packages, including the substructure, piling, loading bays and the main construction works.

The cultural district on Saadiyat island will also contain the Sheikh Zayed National Museum, a maritime museum and a performing arts centre. The Sheikh Zayed National Museum has been designed by Norman Foster and Zaha Hadid has provided designs for the performing arts centre.