Ah..the soaring human spirit knows no limits. Time after time, upon the completion of a record-breaking skyscraper, the economic health of that country takes a fast spiral south. Its as if the higher a building reaches for the skies, the deeper the economic misfortunes are.
The Empire State Building, completed in 1931, marked the start of the Great Depression in the US.
The opening of London’s Canary Wharf Tower in 1991 coincided with the onset of the UK recession.
Malaysia’s Petronas Twin Towers was completed in 1998 which heralded the Asian economic crisis.
Now, the same fate appears to befall Dubai’s Burj Dubai. The world’s tallest skyscraper, 808 metres and 162 floors high, has had its opening postponed several times, the latest for the New Year, amid the financial turmoil currently enveloping Dubai.
Certainly, one useful indicator of when countries will slip into recession or economic downturn is the completion dates of major skyscrapers. City planners and building developers may like to take heed of this fact. Cynics say this pattern is no surprise, as projects are conceived when the economy is booming; by the time the planning and construction is completed, most countries are ready to welcome (yet again) the cycle of recession.
Taking a peep into the future, will the Shanghai Centre, the proposed tallest building in China due to be completed 2014, herald the onset of China’s recession? If that’s too far away, the APIIC Tower (100 storeys) in Hyderabad is due to be ready in 2010. Will this spell doom for India? Hold your breath for not too long..
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