Monday, December 4, 2023

Construction Contracts Awarded for Louvre Abu Dhabi

Abu Dhabi, UAE — Tourism Development and Investment Company (TDIC), master developer of major tourism, cultural and residential destinations in Abu Dhabi, has awarded the construction of the Louvre Abu Dhabi, set to open in the Saadiyat Cultural District in 2015, to Arabtec-led joint venture with Constructora San Jose SA and Oger Abu Dhabi LLC following a competitive tendering process.

The contract, valued at AED 2.4 billion, signifies a major milestone in the progress of the Louvre Abu Dhabi that has already launched a robust programme marking major achievements during the various upcoming stages of development.

His Excellency Sheikh Sultan bin Tahnoon Al Nahyan, Chairman of Abu Dhabi Tourism & Culture Authority (TCA Abu Dhabi) and TDIC, stated: “The awarding of this contract confirms Abu Dhabi’s commitment in developing iconic museums in the Saadiyat Cultural District, in line with the vision of HH Sheikh Khalifa Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, President of the UAE, and the direction of HH General Sheikh Mohammad Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces, aimed at transforming the Emirate into a hub of world cultural exchange. When Louvre Abu Dhabi opens its doors, it will mark significant progress in cross-cultural dialogue through its universal themes and diverse exhibits.”

Arabtec and its partners will begin construction work immediately, with the museum’s concrete frame to be completed by the first quarter of 2014. Work on the geometric lace dome, will be completed by the end of 2014 and result in an enchanting ‘rain of light’. The final stage includes marine works and removal of temporary land platforms which will be completed in 2015 when this world-class building transforms into an island of its own.

Mubarak Hamad Al Muhairi, Director General of TCA Abu Dhabi and Managing Director of TDIC, stated: “The construction phase of the Louvre Abu Dhabi is an important milestone in the museum’s life as it celebrates the significant work that has been achieved in the development of the cultural programme of the Louvre Abu Dhabi and its art collection. This new landmark project will earn international appreciation for its distinctive design and collection with artworks of historical and sociological significance.”

With a built up area of 64,000 square metres, Louvre Abu Dhabi is conceived as a complex of pavilions, plazas, alleyways and canals, evoking the image of a city floating on the sea. Hovering over the complex will be a form inspired by traditional Arabic architecture: a vast, shallow dome – some 180 metres in diameter – perforated with interlaced patterns so that a magical, diffused light will filter through.

Hasan Ismaik, Managing Director of Arabtec, stated: “We are extremely proud to have been awarded such a prestigious project and to be contributing to bringing this landmark museum to life with our joint venture partners Constructora San Jose SA and Oger Abu Dhabi LLC.. The Louvre Abu Dhabi is undoubtedly the most anticipated cultural development in the region, and truly reflects the Emirate’s ambition to strengthen its position on the global map as a cultural epicentre and leisure lifestyle destination. We would like to thank TDIC for providing Arabtec the opportunity to contribute to Abu Dhabi’s vision.”

Designed by Pritzker-prize winning architect Jean Nouvel, the Louvre Abu Dhabi will encompass 9,200 square metres of art galleries. The 6,000-square-metre Permanent Gallery will house the museum’s permanent collection taking the visitor through a universal journey from the most ancient to contemporary through art works from different civilisations. The Temporary Gallery will be a dedicated space of 2,000 square meters presenting temporary exhibitions of international standards.

The Louvre Abu Dhabi has so far achieved major developmental milestones with the finishing of the building’s detailed design and the completion of the infrastructure, which encompassed marine, excavation, piling and substructure works. A temporary platform in the sea, where the entire building will be constructed on, was built in 2009 to allow all works to take place in a dry environment. Upon completion of the building, including the marine works, the 40-metre high concrete walls currently built in the sand will be removed to allow seawater to flow in gradually. More than 4,000 steel and reinforced concrete piles – a total volume of 21,000 cubic metres of concrete – were driven into the ground to serve as a base for the Louvre Abu Dhabi building.

The overall structure incorporates passive design techniques and environmental principles. These utilise the natural form of buildings and inherent properties of materials to improve outside conditions, such as solar shading effect of the dome’s roof and self-shading of buildings. The dome was intelligently designed where the roof primarily acts as a shading canopy to protect the outside plaza and building below from the radiant heat of the sun, providing local comfort and reducing building energy consumption. This allows visitors to walk in comfort between the different exhibition spaces.

The Louvre Abu Dhabi will showcase the interrelationships among artistic achievements from different cultures around the world – from the most immemorial to the very latest, across borders of technique and geography. Louvre Abu Dhabi is developing its own permanent collection, which will be enriched by loans from 12 French museums including Musée du Louvre, Musée d’Orsay, Musée du Quai Branly, and Centre Pompidou. Louvre Abu Dhabi is being developed with the expertise of the Agence France-Muséums and in partnership with the Musée du Louvre, renowned for its museological excellence since its foundation in 1793.

The Louvre Abu Dhabi will be one of the premier cultural institutions located in the heart of the Saadiyat Cultural District that are unprecedented in scale and scope. These feature Zayed National Museum, which will open in 2016, and Guggenheim Abu Dhabi, which opens in 2017 – both also designed by world-renowned Pritzker-prize winning architects. All this adds to the appeal of Saadiyat which exudes an exclusive lifestyle through the island’s high-end residential, leisure, cultural and tourism facilities.


Saadiyat, a natural island 10 minutes away from downtown Abu Dhabi, celebrates the renaissance of Arabian living. This is a place where iconic landmarks and azure Arabian waters create a thoughtful harmony of culture, leisure and business in a vibrant community.

Covering 27 square kilometres, the island will eventually be home to 145,000 people. Saadiyat hosts premium brands in hospitality, education and leisure, combined with the world’s largest concentration of cultural institutions, all within easy reach. There are plans for luxury hotels, over three million square metres of office space, marinas with berths for 1,000 boats, two championship golf courses, civic and leisure facilities, sea-view apartments and high-end villas.

Saadiyat is being developed by Tourism Development & Investment Company (TDIC), an independent company of which Abu Dhabi Tourism & Culture Authority (TCA Abu Dhabi) is the sole shareholder.


Tourism Development & Investment Company (TDIC), established in 2006 and fully owned by Abu Dhabi Tourism & Culture Authority, is a master developer of major tourism, cultural and residential destinations in Abu Dhabi.

These include Saadiyat, a natural island ten minutes drive from downtown Abu Dhabi featuring luxury resorts, championship beachfront golf courses, sophisticated residential communities and cultural institutions – designed by world-renowned Pritzker Prize-winning architects – such as Zayed National Museum, Louvre Abu Dhabi and Guggenheim Abu Dhabi. TDIC is also developing Desert Islands, a heritage-based tourism destination composed of eight islands – Sir Bani Yas Island, the historical Dalma Island and the previously unexplored Discovery Islands.

TDIC has built a strong reputation among international industry players for its compelling value proposition, transparency of business approach and ability to deliver. The company has been awarded high investment grade ratings of A1, AA, and AA by three top credit rating agencies, Moody’s, Standard & Poor’s and Fitch Ratings, respectively. These ratings reflect TDIC’s strong financial position and support the company’s credit worthiness to investors, lenders and other market participants.

By creating investment partnerships and joint ventures, TDIC’s developments are helping to support the Emirate’s evolution into a world-class destination for tourists, businesses and residents. TDIC offers significant employment and vocational training opportunities for Emiratis keen to enhance their careers and professional qualifications.

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Since 1975, Arabtec Holding PJSC has completed a number of iconic projects within the residential and commercial space. Projects include hotels, airports, higher education developments, residential buildings and distribution facilities, amongst others. Arabtec is also renowned for its expertise in industrial and infrastructure works including oil and gas, pipeline construction, power generation, marine works and general manufacturing facilities.

Arabtec was listed on the Dubai Financial Market in 2005, and at the time, was the first private construction firm to go public. Today, Arabtec Holding consists of many subsidiaries, with specialisation in all construction sectors. The holding company currently operates in Abu Dhabi, Bahrain, Dubai, Egypt, India, Kuwait, Jordan, Palestine, Qatar, Russia, Saudi Arabia and Syria. Arabtec Holding PJSC continues to expand into additional markets; Arabtec recognises that this growth presents a new set of challenges but is cognisant of the endless opportunities this growth also allows.

Other Arabtec projects recently awarded and currently underway include expansion of the Midfield Terminal Building (MTB) at Abu Dhabi International Airport, UAE, The Lakhta Center package 1 & 2 in Saint Petersburg, Russia, Nation Towers – Main Contract Works, Abu Dhabi, UAE, Saraya R01/ R02, Residential Development by aabar Properties, Abu Dhabi, UAE; 411 Residential Villas in Baniyas, Abu Dhabi, UAE; Dubai International Airport Terminal 2 – Expansion, Dubai International Airport, UAE, PPM Conrad Hotel, Dubai, UAE, Infinity Tower – Dubai Marina, UAE, College of Arts and College of Education – Sabah Al Salem Education City, Kuwait University, Kuwait, ABG Tower – Bahrain Bay, Bahrain Revanta Tower, Delhi, India, Marassi Project – Construction and Finishes of Village L Villas and Town Homes, Northern Shores, Egypt, World Trade Centre Tower, Doha, Qatar, 5,000 Villas – Eastern Province, KSA amongst others.

Arabtec completed portfolio is composed of ADIA New HQ Building, Abu Dhabi, UAE, Abu Dhabi National Exhibition Company Phase 2B – ALOFT Hotel, Abu Dhabi, UAE, Emirates Palace Hotel, Abu Dhabi, UAE, BurjKhalifa – Dubai, UAE, Jumeirah Beach Residence Package 1 & 3 (13 Towers) – Dubai, UAE, The Address Hotel Downtown, Dubai, UAE The Fairmont Hotel, Dubai, UAE, 594 Villas – Arabian Ranches District 7 sectors D,E,F,G, Dubai, UAE, Dubai World Central International Airport, Air Traffic Control, Cargo Terminal Building and Passenger Terminal Building, Dubai, UAE, Dubai International Airport Expansion of Terminal 1, Dubai, UAE International, Princess Nora University for Women (Married Junior Staff Housing), Riyadh, KSA and many more.

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Joe Kleiman
Joe Kleiman
Raised in San Diego on theme parks, zoos, and IMAX films, InPark's Senior Correspondent Joe Kleiman would expand his childhood loves into two decades as a projectionist and theater director within the giant screen industry. In addition to his work in commercial and museum operations, Joe has volunteered his time to animal husbandry at leading facilities in California and Texas and has played a leading management role for a number of performing arts companies. Joe previously served as News Editor and has remained a contributing author to InPark Magazine since 2011. HIs writing has also appeared in Sound & Communications, LF Examiner, Jim Hill Media, The Planetarian, Behind the Thrills, and MiceChat His blog, takes an unconventional look at the attractions industry. Follow on twitter @ThemesRenewed Joe lives in Sacramento, California with his wife, dog, and a ghost.

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