Arab Today, arab today abu dhabi delays louvre guggenheim museums
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Arab Today, arab today
Arab Today, arab today

Abu Dhabi delays Louvre, Guggenheim museums

Arab Today, arab today

Arab Today, arab today Abu Dhabi delays Louvre, Guggenheim museums

Abu Dhabi - Arabstoday

Completion of Abu Dhabi’s Louvre, Guggenheim and Zayed National museums will be delayed, the emirate’s state-owned tourism-development company said, citing the need to maintain the quality of the projects.“Due to the immense magnitude of the work associated with the development of such consequential projects, the company has decided to extend the delivery dates,” the Tourism Development & Investment Co., the entity behind many of the country’s hotels and museums, said in an e-mailed statement. “This necessary review will only have a moderate impact on the delivery timeline of the museums.”The projects were originally due for completion in 2013 and 2014. Revised dates will be announced after the review is complete, the company said. TDIC said last week it had canceled the tender for concrete work for the Guggenheim museum while it reviews procurement strategy.Abu Dhabi, home to one of the world’s largest sovereign wealth funds, is sticking to a plan to invest $500 billion in industry and tourism by 2030. Its property market is suffering along with Dubai’s, with local banks lending less and companies reassessing business plans. Rents in the emirate have fallen 40 percent since the market’s peak as foreigners departed, leaving a number of properties without tenants, according to real estate company Jones Lang LaSalle Inc.The TDIC has cut its 2011 budget by 28 percent to 13.4 billion dirhams ($3.7 billion) as it postponed some projects. It reported losses of 1.2 billion dirhams last year and 551 million dirhams in 2009. The company delayed a $3 billion bond sale plan in July.Frank Gehry, designer of the 450,000-square-foot (42,000 square-meter) Guggenheim Abu Dhabi museum, said this month that work has completely halted as the emirate scales back on plans amid the economic slowdown.“The Abu Dhabi building we’ve been working on in the last five to six years has been stopped, and that’s painful,” Gehry said in an interview in Los Angeles on Oct. 25.Abu Dhabi’s Saadiyat Island, or Island of Happiness, is part of the emirate’s push to diversify its economy away from oil revenue. The $27 billion development will include the three museums and a New York University campus.Abu Dhabi, the capital of the United Arab Emirates and owner of 90 percent of its oil reserves, probably will record economic growth of 3.6 percent this year, according to the International Monetary Fund. It spent $20 billion in 2009 to bail out Dubai, which was struggling to repay debts, and also provides fiscal support for the poorer northern emirates.

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