Worst Behind Abu Dhabi as it Looks to Revive Guggenheim Plans
The Chairman of the Emirate’s Department of Economic Development said he expected the plans to be revived amid positive economic growth predictions
Abu Dhabi is expected to revive its plans for a Guggenheim Museum next year amid expectations of accelerated economic growth, according to the Chairman of the Emirate’s Department of Economic Development.
Ali Majed Al Mansoori said the Emirate planned to award contracts for the Museum, which will be located on Saadiyat Island, by the end of this year or early Y 2017.
“The worst is behind us,” Mr. Al Mansoori told the news service. “Our budget is still strong. The majority of projects are still there and there are other smaller projects which are moving. The economy is moving.”
After being hit hard by the drop in crude prices, the Emirate slashed spending by a 20% last year and plans a further 17% cut this year, more than a proposed 14% reduction in Saudi Arabia.
However, following the recent recovery of prices the International Monetary Fund (IMF) said last month the Emirate can now afford a more gradual fiscal consolidation.
Mr. Al Mansoori said Crude Oil prices may recover to a range of 55 – 60 this year after increasing 85% from a 12-year low in February. Today prices for Brent and West Texas Intermediate hang around 50 bbl.
The official said he expected the Abu Dhabi economy to grow as much as 5% in Y 2017 from 2% this year.
Credit rating agency Moody’s maintained the emirates Aa2 rating in May citing the economy’s large fiscal buffers. It said Abu Dhabi’s fiscal consolidation could slow amid pressure to support growth.
By Robert Anderson
Paul Ebeling, Editor