Some follow-up to two recent stories. First, we heard that things are going sour in a hurry in Dubai, marking an end to their much-discussed building boom, with project cancellations and layoffs hitting nearly every development company’s plans. Since then, more news has crept out about the situation in the desert kingdom, particularly this very detailed, interesting report from the Telegraph about the possible implosion of the entire architectural market there, the bailout the government has planned, and of recent meetings being held between developers and builders who are hoping to figure out a way to keep it all together. It’s a fascinating look at what has the potential to become an example of the quickest rise and the most sudden fall of any urban planning in history. Here’s a bit:
Property prices have slumped, demand has dried up and, for the first time, the emirate is being forced to consider calling a halt to its expansion. Some analysts are claiming that Dubai could implode, weighed down under a pile of debt and, given that it has relatively small oil reserves, no obvious way of paying for it. One said: “This has been the most spectacular spending mission on Earth. But it’s a mirage. If complex debt structures have brought the financial world to its knees, Dubai is the world’s biggest toxic time bomb.”
Second, we quickly check in on the situation at Robert Mondavi and Julia Child‘s Copia wine museum in Santa Rosa, California, which unexpectedly closed its doors last Friday. Since then, the museum has prepared to file for bankruptcy and has picked up some credit in order to pay some necessary bills. What’s most surprising is, despite having lost millions every year it was running, they’ve remained hopeful that they can reopen once all of this mess is taken care of. Hmm.