TDIC cancels Guggenheim museum tender: Meed

Louvre museum in Abu Dhabi (SUPPLIED)

Abu Dhabi's government-owned Tourism Development and Investment CO (TDIC) has cancelled a tender related to the construction of the Guggenheim museum, according to a report. 

The company tasked with bringing branches of the Louvre and Guggenheim museums to Abu Dhabi, informed contractors that it was reviewing its procurement strategy and will not be awarding contracts at this stage, London-based  Middle East Economic Digest (Meed) said. 

The cancelled tender was related to the "structural package" of the museum, Meed said without providing more details. 

TDIC was not immediately available for comment. 

Contractors submitted bids for a Dh400 million ($108.9m) package in March. The bidders included UAE's Al Habtoor-Leighton Group, Dubai builder Arabtec , Saudi Oger, Egypt's Orascom Construction and South Korea's Samsung C&T. 

TDIC told bidders that the bid bonds would be returned, the report said.

The loss-making company recently completed roadshows for the potential bond issue but delayed the sale due to market conditions. It also cut its 2011 budget by Dh5bn as part of a strategy to prolong its project delivery schedule amid a market downturn.  

The new 450,000-sq foot Guggenheim in Abu Dhabi, the world's largest, and designed by architect Frank Gehry, will house a contemporary collection focusing on Middle Eastern art.  

Guggenheim and Louvre are being planned for the Saadiyat Island in the capital city, which is a $27bn art and culture project.

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