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Mon 1 Nov 2010 11:36 AM

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Dubai tower crane orders slump by 40%

Orders unlikely to pick up until the end of 2011, predicts Abu Dhabi's NFT Cranes

Dubai tower crane orders slump by 40%
NFT has been at pains to diversify its order book in the wake of the Dubai crash

Orders of tower cranes in Dubai have plunged by 40
percent in the last year and are unlikely to recover until the end of 2011 at
the earliest, one of the largest suppliers in the Gulf has said.

“Orders have been affected. There is less by 40 percent
compared to year-on-year. There is a drop in real estate and construction
business in general and tower crane business is affected by this,” said Nabil
Al Zahlawi, managing director of Abu Dhabi-based NFT Cranes.

At its peak, Dubai was famed for the number of tower
cranes dotting its skyline. However, construction in the emirate slowed to a
crawl in the wake of its real estate crash.

Last September, the Dubai government confirmed that more
than half – 495 of 980 - of the real estate projects planned in the emirate had
been cancelled.

Al Zahlawi said the market was unlikely to show signs of
recovery until the end of 2011.

The company has taken pains to diversify its order book
following the drop in demand from the Dubai market.

Al Zahlawi has since won a number of Gulf contracts
including the $11.8bn Princess Nora Bint Abdul Rahman Woman University in Saudi
Arabia, King Abdulla Financial District in Riyadh, and the $162.2m Adnoc
headquarters in Abu Dhabi,

In January, David Semple, managing director of Manitowoc
Cranes, told Arabian Business that the number of cranes in Dubai had slumped by
around 50 percent from peak construction levels and orders had ground to a
halt.

“For the last couple of months it is zero, totally dead,”
Semple said of the market in Dubai.

Semple estimated crane use in Dubai had more than halved
in the wake of the emirate’s property market collapse.

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