“The timetable will be evaluated this year and a report given at the forthcoming GCC summit,” says al-Attiyah. “Then we will decide whether to stick to the 2010 deadline.”

He claims that all the member countries remain committed to the single currency despite speculation that the weakening dollar and inflation problems have reduced the political will to implement a single currency.

Speaking in Abu Dhabi, he says the GCC has also completed its initial studies on a projected nuclear programme for the region, and will now begin more detailed work.