Abu Dhabi - Abu Dhabi plans to review its tourism investment due to tightening credit conditions, although it will still bring the Guggenheim and Louvre museums to the oil-exporting region.
'We are reprioritising some of our major projects, especially those that have not been announced, because the debt markets are a little careful and cannot be tapped as six months ago,' Mr Lee Tabler, the chief executive of government-owned Tourism Development & Investment Co (TDIC), said on Sunday.
Speaking on the sidelines of a conference organised by London-based MEED magazine, he said TDIC would review hotels and non-commercial projects such as museums and education, although it would go ahead with plans to build a branch of France's Louvre museum.
The new museum is being built on Saadiyat Island (Island Of Happiness), a US$27-billion (S$40.2 billion) to US$29-billion luxury resort project with marinas, shops and art centres, including the world's largest Guggenheim, designed by celebrated architect Frank Gehry.
The United Arab Emirates, an energy-producing federation of seven emirates which includes Abu Dhabi, is developing its tourism industry as part of a drive to wean the economy off oil.
Last month, Mr Tabler said TDIC planned to launch resort projects worth up to 10 billion dirhams (S$4 billion) this year and next year.
Abu Dhabi is expected to receive 2 million visitors next year, up from about 1.7 million this year.
TDIC, a company owned by Abu Dhabi Tourism Authority, expects to provide 20% of hotel rooms in the capital by 2012, he said.
This article was first published in The Straits Times on Nov 11, 2008.
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