Major overall and losses in the tourism industry, insolvency and а lack of cash, are the most striking characteristics of the Abu Dhabi economy (Gamage pp.312-24). Throughout the 20-year pre-war period (Warnaby pp.204-10),Abu Dhabitourism recorded а continuous and dynamic growth which reached figures of over 68 million overnights in 1988 and approximately 62 million in 1989, the last pre-war year. The war inAbu Dhabiand its immediate surroundings had а disastrous effect onAbu Dhabitourism. During 1998, which was the most successful year in the post-war period, 31.2 million overnights were recorded, about half of the performance level in 1989 (Wong pp.79-91).
The incomplete, and from the entrepreneurship point of view, not very encouraging process of privatisation of а large part of the Abu Dhabi tourism portfolio, has blocked many entrepreneurial initiatives (González pp.51-8. ), and it has had а discouraging effect on the entry of investment capital into Abu Dhabi tourism. The new hotel industry ownership structure is being slowly installed. The dominant owners are banks, small shareholders, investment funds and other insitutional owners. The owners wonder whether to restructure the enterprise or sell their shares (Woodside pp.127-50). Know-how and money are necessary for restructuring and very few owners possess them (Grace pp.96-111). It can be concluded that Sheraton hotel owners’ structure still cannot efficiently perform its ownership mission (Grace pp.452-75).