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Sat 17 Jan 2009 04:07 PM

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Rotating towers survive Dubai's construction downturn

The 80-storey Dynamic Tower and the 55 degree Time Dubai Tower will break ground in a few months.

The financial crisis will not stop the construction of two rotating tower projects in Dubai with both the developments predicted to break ground in the coming months, it was reported Saturday.

The 80-storey Dynamic Tower, famous for its independently rotating floors, was tentatively scheduled to start construction by the end of last year but has been hampered by delays in acquiring land approvals.

The Dubai property market has since been struck by the financial crisis, putting the brakes on several large projects and slashing real estate investment in the emirate.

Despite this, the tower's architect, David Fisher, said the US $700 million (AED2.6 billion) project is still going ahead, according to Construction Week.

"The financial crisis of course does not help real estate," said Fisher in an email to Construction Week.

"However, it seems that luxury buildings and mainly iconic buildings such as the Dynamic Tower are among the few that will be built," he said.

"In fact we intend to launch the project quite soon, at which time all information will be revealed."

The intended location of the tower has still not been disclosed. Construction of the tower is expected to take 22 months from the start of excavations due to the use of pre-fabricated units which are currently being manufactured in Italy.

Meanwhile, developers behind another rotating tower project, the 55° Time Dubai tower, say they too have been delayed but should be breaking ground sometime in the next two months.

"The paper work is already in place and we're ready to move," said 360° Time World director Tav Singh.

"We're just holding back and giving some extensions to some of the people involved so that they can make their payments because we don't want them to cancel their contracts."

The US $204 million tower will be located in Dubailand's City of Arabia and has been designed to rotate all 30 storeys 360° over the course of one week.

Construction is expected to be completed in two years.

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paul 11 years ago

Ok, I stuck my neck out on the Nakheel 1m high tower and I was right - just three months after the launch announcement it is 'on ice'. This one is just as absurd. Just because they talk bullish now means nothing. Like Nakheel, in three months time they will quietly suspend this and hope no one notices how silly they were to claim it would go ahead in the midst of a property collapse. These silly rotating towers belong to another era, one where gullible investors would buy anything in Dubai and banks would happily lend them as much as they wanted to do so. Wake up, things have changed. There are hundreds of half completed towers, Dubai does not need more stupidly over-priced gimmicks. It desperately needs a dose of reality and a rapid readjustment in pricing, or the wider economy will start to suffer and people lose their jobs and head home.

Lee 11 years ago

Time to do your homework before making uninformed comments! 55 TimeDubai is one of the few developments in Dubai that is actually fully funded and paid up by the developers themselves. They even own their land outright. This so-called "gimmick" has rotation technology designed by the same guy who did the wings on the new Airbus A380, not to mention a whole raft of other developments world-wide. Pricing is also one of the more realistic for something so unique, probably due to the developers solid history in the UK. I'm wary of people like Fisher who can't even say where his tower will be built, but I can tell you now, 55 TimeDubai is in the centre of City of Arabia, has its funding in place and will ride the credit crunch because it was solid to start with. I've invested in this. I've seen the contracts and they actually stack up.

paul 11 years ago

Lee, you are living in dreamland. Dubai property has plunged and the bubble has popped. Even if the developer had every single penny of the cash in the bank to finish the building without any money coming in from you and those others who signed up (which I doubt, and you certainly are in no position to know this other than 'because the salesman told me'), it does not make any sense to continue. Off-plan prices have plunged, so suddenly the project will find that many of those who paid deposits will just bail out and lose the deposit. Plenty of flippers will be stuck with apartments in it they cannot sell now, others will just look at the price again and realise that it is now worth significantly less than what they signed up to pay. As more and more customers drop out, the developer suddenly cannot rely on any of the off-plan sales to actually complete. He will be stuck owning most of the building and having to try again to sell those apartments, but at post 2008 prices which could be 50%+ lower. No developer is going to go ahead in those circumstances. Whether they have funding and the plot of land is irrelevant. The costs are the same, maybe a tad cheaper due to the crunch. But the revenue they get will be much, much lower. It is a no-brainer - it simply will not be built. I bet you the project is canned within 6 months. Probably much sooner.

allen 11 years ago

I think recession has some effect on this industry.One of my friends from marhabahome.com,says that there is a chace for price reduction further.

Johnson 11 years ago

The 80 story Dynamic Tower is just a dream. Even if the technology was available to the developer, it would be far too expensive to build and thus will not get built. Definitely a fascinating idea, but not a very realistic one. 55 Time is also a thought provoking idea, but again, it will not be built. Any privately funded building of this type that has not started construction yet (prior to recession) WILL BE CANCELLED. Wait and see. The money will not be there and the idea will die. If you look at the track record of this 55 Time developer, you will find he has none. He has publicly announced construction start dates since 2006 (continually delaying the project), but has yet to build anything. I think he is being highly deceptive. If I had any money in the 55 Time project, I'd get it out now and run. Wake up, this recession has only just begun. The worst is still ahead of us.

Profess 11 years ago

No crystal ball here and a firm belief that the economic downturn is not even half over, so I can't tell if this project will reach fruition. But a fairly recent article in National Geographic indicated that 1,100 people have already pre-purchaced appartments in the Fisher tower. The price of appartments in this building range from $3mil to $30mil. Simple math says there's already a lot of money (and hope) in the project. And the technology involved is fantastic btw.

tony 7 years ago

Hi Lee, Are yo uliving in your rotating apartment now?

Ahmed Khan 6 years ago

I invested my hard earned family money in 55 Time Dubai which was initially due for completion end 2010. Due to financial problems effecting Dubai property market, completion was delayed to 2012. I have paid 2 installments of 15% each in 2008/9. Due to this long delay I have now have no funds for this investment. How do I go about to recover my 30% paid over 5 years ago.