Where does the name Jeddah come from?
Saudi Arabia: Construction freeze on the world's tallest skyscraper becomes a crisis indicator
Jeddah is located in the very west of Saudi Arabia and has around three million inhabitants. However, the city has not yet had great international significance. For several years now, attempts have been made to create a sensation with architectural records. For example, Jeddah has the tallest fountain and the longest flagpole in the world. The city wants to finally make a name for itself with the Jeddah Tower. This is to reach a height of 1,007 meters, making it by far the tallest skyscraper in the world. Originally, the gigantic structure was supposed to be completed this year. But work is currently on hold. These are to be resumed in a few months. Nevertheless, it could be a real crisis symptom.
The Saudi economy is suffering from low oil prices
First of all, this applies to Saudi Arabia itself. There, the “Saudi Binladin Group” received the contract to build the skyscraper. This is one of the largest construction companies in the world, which basically has the necessary expertise. However, the low oil price has hit the company hard in recent years. In the meantime, the group's mountain of debt has grown to an impressive $ 15 billion, so that even the Saudi state had to invest in the company to prevent a collapse. If one of the largest and most famous companies in the country is doing badly, it is usually not a good sign for the rest of the economy either. Especially since this in Saudi Arabia is heavily dependent on the state - and thus the income from the oil business.
Gigantic skyscrapers can become symbols of the crisis
Another aspect is also interesting. From a historical perspective, all of the major financial and economic crises of the 20th and 21st centuries were preceded by the construction of gigantic skyscrapers. For example, before the Great Depression of the 1930s, the Empire State Building and the Chrysler Building were built. According to this reading, the Petronas Towers in Kuala Lumpur heralded the Asian crisis in the 1990s, while the financial crisis in 2008 immediately followed the construction of the Burj Khalifa in Dubai. Some scientists do not consider this to be a mere coincidence. Instead, they assume that investors take the greatest risks just before the end of an upswing. This, in turn, is reflected in gigantic construction projects - which are to a certain extent already becoming a symbol of the approaching downturn. From this perspective, the construction freeze on Jeddah Tower is anything but a good sign for the global economy.
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