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Dubai development may be down, but it’s not out

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Dubai development may be down, but it’s not out

| architects, architecture critic, buildings, modern architecture, modern buildings, new buildings | June 25, 2009

A BREAK IN THE ACTION: Stalled cranes and shells of structures stand in contrast with the exuberant building boom of the last two decades along Sheikh Zayed Road.

A BREAK IN THE ACTION: Stalled cranes and shells of structures stand in contrast with the exuberant building boom of the last two decades along Sheikh Zayed Road.

Many of the city-state’s bigger-than-life projects may be in a holding pattern, but don’t look for its mega-growth world influence to be contained any time soon.

By Christopher Hawthorne, Architecture Critic
June 21, 2009
Reporting from Dubai, United Arab Emirates — If a city can be spectacularly quiet, this waterfront city-state has certainly qualified in recent months. Hundreds of abandoned construction cranes languish above Dubai’s gated communities and beach-side developments and, most dramatically, up and down Sheikh Zayed Road, its high-rise spine. According to a recent estimate in the Middle East Economic Digest, projects worth a staggering $335 billion in the United Arab Emirates — of which Dubai, with a population of about 2 million, is the largest member — are stalled or have been canceled outright.

Dubai’s residents, roughly 85% of them expatriates, have been left to wonder if the current crisis is merely a pause, a recessionary lull that will be painful but temporary, or closer to a fundamental reckoning that will entirely reorder the emirate and how it does business. The same question is being asked in cities around the world, of course. But it’s a particularly acute, even existential one here, since it goes right to the heart of Dubai’s self-image.

Full article via Los Angeles Times 
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About the author

After working at various design practices on a full-time and freelance basis, and starting his own design firm, David McFadden saw that there was a gap to be filled in the industry. In 1984, he created an expansive hub for architects and hiring firms to sync up, complete projects, and mutually benefit. That hub was Consulting For Architects Inc., which enabled architects to find meaningful design work, while freeing hiring firms from tedious hiring-firing cycles. This departure from the traditional, more rigid style of employer-employee relations was just what the industry needed - flexibility and adaption to modern work circumstances. David has successfully advised his clients through the trials and tribulations of four recessions – the early 80’s, the early 90’s, the early 2000’s, and the Great Recession of 2007.

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