The Abu Dhabi company building a branch of the Guggenheim museum in the Emirati capital said Sunday it has temporarily dropped plans to award a major construction contract, raising questions about the future of the high profile project.
TDIC (The state-run Tourism Development and Investment Co.) is one of several companies set up by Abu Dhabi to diversify the economy and drive development in the emirate, which borders Dubai to the south.
The money-losing company relies heavily on direct cash infusions from the oil-rich Abu Dhabi government, but it also has turned to banks to fund some of its operations.
TDIC executives traveled to Europe and Asia over the summer to meet with potential investors about the possibility of issuing new bonds, but then put off those fundraising plans.
The Guggenheim project has been a flashpoint for controversy.
In March, more than 130 international artists and writers promised to boycott the museum unless authorities do more to protect workers' rights at the site. That followed an earlier report by Human Rights Watch that outlined alleged abuses against migrant workers on the project.