Opening of Louvre Museum in Abu Dhabi postponed to 2017

The United Arab Emirates branch of the famed Louvre Museum has been pushed back to next year due to a delay in construction.

Photo by: Reuters
Photo by: Reuters

The Louvre Museum in Abu Dhabi on Saadiyat Island designed by Jean Novel will turn the UAE into a cultural hub.

Pending construction work caused further delay of the Abu Dhabi branch of France's Louvre Museum’s opening to 2017, three sources told Reuters on Thursday.

Also, two other sources confirmed the postponement of the opening to an unspecified date next year.

The details of the projects are still being kept private.

The oil-rich emirate country is investing billions of dollars in tourism, industry and infrastructure with the Gulf branch of the famous Paris museum and two other planned museums.

The Louvre Abu Dhabi permanent collection will include French painter Jean-Louis François Lagrenée’s famous painting Venus and Nymphs Bathing (1776). (AFP)

A building boom in the United Arab Emirates has created bottlenecks as some construction firms scramble to find labor, supplies and financing to complete huge backlogs of work.

Tourism Development and Investment Company (TDIC), the developer, was scheduled to hand over the $650 million museum to Abu Dhabi’s Tourism & Culture Authority (TCA) in mid-2016.

TDIC is developing a cultural district in Abu Dhabi that will house branches of the Louvre and Guggenheim museums, as well as the Zayed National Museum.

“First, the museum buildings have to be completed and delivered and then the opening must take place, which is now some time in 2017,” a source close to the project told Reuters.

“There is some work to be done – interiors, testing which are critical as the commissioning takes place.”

A piece by Flemish Baroque painter Jacob Jordaens will be available for art lovers in the Emirati capital branch of the appealing Paris museum. (AFP)

The chairman of state-owned TDIC said last year that the original schedule for the local Louvre was 2012.

In addition to Louvre branch, TDI is constructing a cultural district in the UAE’s capital city that will house branches of Guggenheim and the Zayed National museums.

The Zayed Museum was scheduled to open this year and the Guggenheim in 2017, but construction contracts are yet to be awarded for them.

TRTWorld and agencies