Qatar Petroleum (QP) is preparing to issue tender documents in May for the main construction contract for the New Qatar National Museum

A source involved with the project tells MEED that QP has received expressions of interest from contractors and will now prequalify a number of them before issuing tender documents in May.

The successful bidder will build the museum’s steel superstructure and install the cladding and glazing on the building’s exterior. It will also complete the mechanical, electrical and plumbing works, along with some fit-out work inside the building and landscaping work outside.

QP, which is managing the construction on behalf of Qatar Museum Authority, expects to award the contract in September this year and the work should be completed by October 2012. The museum will open when all the other work on the project is completed in November 2013.

A separate contract for enabling works was tendered by QP late last year and a contract award is expected soon.

Designed by French architect Jean Nouvel, the museum will be built on two plots of land next to the existing Qatar National Museum. The two plots on the Corniche cover an area of about 150,000 square metre, separated by Al-Muthaf Road.

Most of the old museum will be demolished, but the old palace building that was used by Qatar’s ruling family in the early 20th century will remain as part of the new museum complex.

The existing museum was opened in 1975 in the old palace building. By the time it was shut in 2007 it had expanded to include an archaeological and natural history museum building, a lagoon, a maritime museum, and an aquarium.

In 2006 construction work was completed on Museum of Islamic Arts, which is also located on the Doha Corniche. Turkey’s Baytur was awarded the $101m construction contract for that project in 2004 (MEED 7:7:06).

Jean Nouvel has also designed the Louvre Abu Dhabi, which is being built by Abu Dhabi’s Tourism Development & Investment Company on Saadiyat Island in the UAE capital. It is part of a cultural district which also includes the Sheikh Zayed National Museum, the Guggenheim Abu Dhabi Museum, a performing arts centre and a maritime museum.