Louvre Abu Dhabi 95% complete

Abu Dhabi: The Louvre Abu Dhabi is currently more than 95 per cent complete, with the project progressing on schedule and set for handing to the Tourism and Culture Authority (TCA) by July or August 2016.

The museum is expected to open in December 2016 or January 2017, according to Ali Majed Al Mansouri, chairman of the Tourism Development and Investment Company (TDIC).

“We will hand over the Louvre to TCA by August… and TCA will then take their time to test the building, cool it down, and hang those beautiful paintings up there. I expect they will decide, and maybe by December, all of us might be able to go and see it.

“The plan is on track. We are above 95 per cent complete, and the remaining five per cent is very critical; it’s [defining] and it’s what people will see, so we are very careful to deliver good quality,” he said.

The Louvre Abu Dhabi was originally set to open in 2012, but that date was pushed back to late 2014, and then late 2016. It will be the first of three museums set for opening on Abu Dhabi’s Saadiyat Island, and will be followed by the openings of the Zayed National Museum and the Guggenheim Abu Dhabi.

Al Mansouri was speaking to Gulf News on Tuesday on the sidelines of Cityscape Abu Dhabi, which runs until Thursday, bringing together over 90 exhibitors and leading real estate developers.

Cityscape was inaugurated by a visit from Shaikh Hazza Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Deputy Chairman of the Abu Dhabi Executive Council.

At the event, TDIC launched its latest project, Saadiyat Lagoons District, which is expected to be home to 29,000 residents across over 4,000 residential units. The six million square metre mixed-use development will feature townhouses, villas, and apartments, along with leisure facilities.

The chairman said that TDIC has already received a lot of calls from investors to reserve their units, and is expected to see strong demand for the project.

“Long-term investors who are looking beyond 2016 and 2017 will buy a product like this. In 2017, I expect the economy to be better because the government is not cutting any projects and the fundamentals of the economy are strong.

I was a little cautious in 2015, but today, I’m optimistic about 2017 because I see the numbers; from the tourism numbers, for example, and new developments like [the expansion of] Abu Dhabi Airport,” Al Mansouri said.

Discussing Abu Dhabi’s economy, he said that such factors along with forecasted increases in oil prices are giving him some optimism about improved economic growth in 2017.

Also present at Cityscape was Aldar Properties showcasing its latest project, announced on Monday, Yas Acres to investors. The Dh6 billion residential and leisure development will feature 1,315 villas once it is completed in the fourth quarter of 2019.

Other developers at the event include Bloom Properties, Mubadala Development Company, Manazel Real Estate, Tamouh Investments, Eagle Hills, and Trafalgar Properties, among others.