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Where will Caterpillar’s construction business be at this time next year?

You’ll get a clue by checking out Architectural Record today. The site sports slick design and features pictures of the latest in way-cool building techniques, but it’s intuitive that because architecture is among the first phases of a construction project, the business should be a decent predictor of Caterpillar’s construction business. One intriguing item wonders if the Dubai Bubble is about to pop:

In recent weeks, delays have beset several massive projects there, according to several architects working in the area, and articles in The National, a United Arab Emirates newspaper. Dubai Waterfront, often referred to as Waterfront City, the 1.5-billion-square-foot development master planned by Rem Koolhaas/OMA, is moving much slower than anticipated. Completion of a detailed master plan for Palm Deira—a man-made, palm tree-shaped island—has been pushed back from this fall to late spring. And Palm Jebel Ali, another palm tree-shaped island, is being scaled back. Moreover, real estates prices are starting to drop.

“We are witnessing a global negative economic movement,” a spokesman for Nakheel, one of the country’s largest developers, told The National in mid-November. “The next few months will see a scaling back of activity around some of our projects.” Other developers are reporting layoffs. Damac Properties recently cut 200 jobs, sources say, while Omniyat Properties, a three-year-old company, let go of 60 employees.

Others quoted in the piece think things are going to be fine: I can’t help wondering who really wants to be in Dubai if oil is trading under $100 a barrel.

If you really want to get cheered up, check out AR’s recession roundup.

Previously: Non-Residential Construction Stumbles Badly.

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Tom Mangan posted at 11:20 pm December 21st, 2008 |

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