Abu Dhabi will not issue new hotel licenses until further notice due to oversupply, a local newspaper reported, citing a tourism official.
However, none of the already issued licenses will be revoked even if construction of the hotels has not begun, said al-Rroya al-Eqtisadiyya, quoting Naser al-Riyami, an official in the emirate's tourism authority.
Across the oil-rich state, which accounts for more than half of the United Arab Emirates' economy, government-backed real estate, commercial and tourism projects, many conceived during the boom years of 2003-2008, are under review and in some cases being delayed or put on hold.
The average room rate in Abu Dhabi dropped 14 percent to about 450 dirhams (USD$122.5) in 2011, the paper said, as four thousand new rooms came online -- bringing the total number of hotel rooms to almost twenty-three thousand in the capital.
The UAE is seen as a safe haven for wealth and tourism in the Middle East, where popular uprisings toppled three governments in 2011 and spurred the transition of a fourth Arab government earlier this year.
Abu Dhabi's tourism authority posted a 6.5 percent growth in guest arrivals last year, as new hotels and an increase of Arab tourists from the hydrocarbon-rich Gulf brought the number of hotel guests to 2.11 million in 2011.