Abu Dhabi’s TDIC says on track for "positive" 2012

Developer of Louvre and Guggenheim on Saadiyat Island slumped to US$345m loss last year
Abu Dhabi’s Tourism Development and Investment Company (TDIC) is the master developer behind the Louvre and Guggenheim museums on Saadiyat Island.
By Shane McGinley
Thu 28 Jun 2012 05:35 PM

Abu Dhabi’s Tourism Development and Investment Company (TDIC), the master developer behind the Louvre and Guggenheim museums on Saadiyat Island, is on track to record a positive financial result in 2012, after reporting a loss of AED1.27bn (US$345m) in 2011, the firm said on Thursday.

"In 2011, we accomplished phenomenal sales of TDIC's residential properties - AED 2.1bn (US$571m) in sales were closed and these will be reflected in the company's financial statements as they are handed over to their owners in the coming year,” Ahmed Al Fahim, executive director of sales and leasing at TDIC, told the WAM news agency.

As a result, “2012's financial statements could show a positive EBITDA (Earnings Before Interest, Taxes, Depreciation and Amortisation) performance for the first time in the company's history," he added.

Last year, the Abu Dhabi tourism developer saw the opening of the 337-room St. Regis hotel on Saadiyat Island in December, and the Monte-Carlo Beach Club in September. November also saw the opening of the 172-room Westin Abu Dhabi Golf Resort & Spa.

Across TDIC's hospitality portfolio, which includes Qasr Al Sarab and Desert Islands Resort and Spa, revenue increased 11 percent and occupancy increased 20 per cent when compared to 2010.

“These transactions, coupled with strong financial discipline across the company helped TDIC end the year with over AED2bn in cash,” the WAM statement said.

Despite the positive outlook, TDIC admitted in October that a review of its Saadiyat Cultural District museum projects would result in "moderate delays".

Completion of the UAE capital's Louvre, Guggenheim and Zayed National museums will be delayed to ensure that "quality is not compromised", TDIC said in a statement posted on its website.

"TDIC’s initial plan was to open all these museums between 2013-2014; however, 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," it said.

"This will ensure that quality is not compromised, and allow each establishment the time needed to create its own identity on the local and international cultural stage. TDIC can confirm that this necessary review will only have a moderate impact on the delivery timeline of the museums," the TDIC statement added.

Abu Dhabi’s Saadiyat Island is part of the emirate’s push to diversify its economy away from oil revenue. The US$27bn development will include the three museums and a New York University campus.

The WAM statement states that the Louvre Abu Dhabi is set to open in 2015, Zayed National Museum in 2016 and Guggenheim Abu Dhabi 2017.

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