The UAE/UK Mivan Depa Contracting is the frontrunner to win a fit-out works contract for the Oman National Museum in Muscat.

The Heritage and Culture Ministry received bids from five contractors on 29 March for the museum project, which will be located near the Al-Alam Palace.

The museum will occupy an area of 13,757 square metres and will contain 10 galleries, classrooms, studios and a 70-seat cafe. The site will also contain an 80-seat lecture hall and two seminar rooms.

Mivan Depa’s OR5.5m ($14.3m) bid was 11.3 per cent lower than the OR6.2m price submitted by the second lowest bidder, the local Shamel International.

UAE-based Pico International submitted the third lowest bid with a price of OR6.5m.

The other bidders are UAE-based Kingsmen Middle East and Spain’s General de Producciones y Diseno.

The museum is expected to be open to the public towards the end of 2011.

The local/UK Carillion Alawi were awarded the main construction contract for the project in February after submitting a bid of OR12m ($31m).

The design contract was awarded to a joint venture of UK-based architecture firm Jasper Jacob Associates and the local Cowi & Partners (MEED 07:2:10).

Mivan Depa Contracting is a joint venture between UK-based Mivan and local Depa.