Tourism chairman: Abu Dhabi developers delay, cancel public and tourism projects

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A lack of financing is forcing some private developers in Abu Dhabi to cancel and postpone work, according to the government official responsible for $30 billion in public developments and tourism projects.

“Some had to be delayed or built over a longer period of time and in some cases canceled because of tighter lending from banks,” Sheikh Sultan Bin Tahnoon Al Nahyan, chairman of Tourism Development & Investment Co., said in an interview during a tour of Saadiyat Island yesterday. He didn’t cite specific projects or developers.

Property prices in Abu Dhabi, the United Arab Emirates’ capital, have fallen about 30 percent from the 2008 peak after the financial crisis stifled investment. The real-estate slump has caused the cancellation of more than $300 billion worth of projects in neighboring Dubai and forced developers to renegotiate debt terms.

Sheikh Sultan, chairman of the Abu Dhabi Tourism Authority and a member of the ruling al Nahyan family, said the government tourism and infrastructure projects are “progressing according to plan.” The tourism investment company is building $30 billion worth of projects including the Louvre and Guggenheim museums on Saadiyat Island off the coast of Abu Dhabi.