Abu Dhabi awards $136m Qasr Al Hosn building refurb contract
The refurbishment and upgradation of the Cultural Foundation Building have begun as part of the overall $191m Qasr Al Hosn refurbishment programme
An Abu Dhabi authority has awarded a $136m (AED500m) contract to refurbish the Cultural Foundation Building at Qasr Al Hosn.
The Department of Culture and Tourism (DCT) awarded the deal to Zublin Construction.
Qasr Al Hosn is considered the birthplace of the UAE capital.
Launched in 1981, the Cultural Foundation Building comprises the city's first library, exhibition hall, and theatre.
As part of the contract, the 23,000m2 building will undergo extensive refurbishment and upgrading work, including the reintroduction of the library, the creation of exhibition spaces, and the launch of a theatre designed to seat 900.
Learning and workshop spaces, as well as food and beverage (F&B) areas, will also be developed within the facility.
Project works have already begun, and activities such as shoring, excavation, and pile installation for new car parks have been completed.
The contract awarded to Zublin is the final in a series of deals awarded for the Qasr Al Hosn refurbishment programme, and brings DCT's total investment in the project to $190.6m (AED700m).
Qasr Al Hosn Fort – Abu Dhabi's first permanent structure and former home of the ruling Al Nahyan family – is also a part of the refurbishment plan.
Work on the fort's restoration is nearing completion.
Announced this March by HH Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces, the overall refurbishment programme includes – besides the cultural building and the fort – the National Consultative Council Building as well.
Commenting on the latest contract award, Saif Saeed Ghobash, director-general of DCT, said: "With the Cultural Foundation Building being part of the refurbished Qasr Al Hosn site, this investment will positively impact the emirate’s status as a cultural tourism destination.
"Awarding the contract to Zublin Construction, that is to say partnering with the private sector on our culture sector projects, also consolidates our commitment to supporting the economic growth of the emirate," he added, according to state news agency, WAM.