FEBRUARY 25, 2009

F1X runs into trouble

Reports from the Middle East suggest that F1-X, the Formula 1 theme park in Dubai, has been postponed by developer Union Properties. It seems that the project has run out of money. The plan was to fund the park with the sale of houses, but the collapse of the UAE property markets has meant that income dried up and with banks unable to loan money and the government showing no interest in saving the project, it seems that the whole thing has been shelved.

This comes just a few days after rumours that the Ferrari World theme park in Abu Dhabi has been delayed a year. Ferrari says that the park nis on schedule and that the rumours are not true.

We hear that UP is hoping to find someone else to fund the project so that the first park can be completed, but given the credit crunch that is not going to be easy. It will not help matters that the Formula One group has a long-term contract with UP for F1 theme parks all over the world and no doubt that will involve sizeable payments. This could run into tens of millions of dollars.