The opening of a 700-store shopping centre on Yas Island has been pushed back by a year, with the developer, Aldar, planning to use the extra time to cut costs by 30%.

Steve Worrell, the director of Yas Island, which will host the Abu Dhabi Formula One Grand Prix in November, said Yas Mall was now expected to open in March 2012.

'The cost has become the driver, as opposed to schedule, and I think that’s the big difference,' said Mr Worrell. 'We’re spending a little more time, and maybe some significant time, to drive the best value, to get the lowest price. The whole [economic] condition has changed.'

The National