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Sun 4 Oct 2015 10:11 AM

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Opening of Abu Dhabi's $650m Louvre pushed back to 2016

Abu Dhabi offshoot of the Paris museum was originally scheduled to open in 2012

Opening of Abu Dhabi's $650m Louvre pushed back to 2016

The opening of Abu Dhabi's branch of the iconic Louvre museum has been postponed until next year because building work still needs doing, a senior official said on Saturday, the latest delay to the high-profile project.

The museum was originally scheduled to open in 2012 but that target was pushed back until this year. Majed al Mansoori, chairman of state-owned Tourism Development and Investment Company (TDIC), said authorities were now aiming for late 2016.

"Attention will now turn to the remaining work on the underside of the cladding and the Louvre Abu Dhabi remains on track for opening in the second half of 2016," he told Reuters by email.

He did not give a reason for the delay in building work at the $650 million project, which is part of the wealthy emirate's wider plan to boost the tourist credentials of a country heavily dependent on oil.

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

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

The Guggenheim has been scheduled to open in 2017 and the Zayed in 2016. Mansoori did not clarify whether those targets were still in force but said contracts for both museums would be awarded soon, with ground-breaking for the Zayed expected by the end of 2015 and at the Guggenheim in the first half of 2016.

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