Exhibits will be loaned to Foster-designed Sheikh Zayed National Museum within new Saadiyat Island development

The British Museum is to play a role in the development of Saadiyat Island, Abu Dhabi's planned cultural district. It is to lend exhibits for 10 years to the Sheikh Zayed National Museum, which is being designed by Foster + Partners. The undisclosed fee could help fund the British Museum's £135m planned extension, which looks set to be hit by planned arts spending cuts.

The Sheikh Zayed will sit alongside other museums and galleries, including offshoots of the Louvre and Guggenheim.

Meanwhile, South African contractor Murray & Roberts, with its local joint venture partner Al Habtoor, has won the contract build the St Regis Hotel and Residences on Saadiyat Island for the Tourism Development & Investment Company. The 1.8bn dirham job will start on site in August and is scheduled for completion in 2011.

Lord Foster
Lord Foster's practice is designing the new Sheikh Zayed National Museum

An array of top architects are involved in Saadiyat Island: Tadao Ando is designing the Maritime Museum, Frank Gehry the Guggenheim Abu Dhabi, Zaha Hadid the Saadiyat's Performing Arts Centre and Jean Nouvel the Classical Museum.

The Sheikh Zayed National Museum is named after the man who united the UAE's seven emirates in 1971.