Tower cranes lie at the very heart of a great many projects in the GCC, as both metaphorical and literal pillars of the vertically-oriented designs that the region is so fond of. For decades now, tower cranes have been used as an industry bellwether etched into the very skyline of the Gulf’s cities — and temporarily, with their frequent stillness in the immediate aftermath of 2008, as a visual queue as to the relative activity or inactivity of projects.
One individual with a singularly financial perspective on the segment is Shimmy Mathew, chief financial officer for Dubai-based KBW Investments, which owns Italian heritage crane manufacturer Raimondi Cranes. He comments: “Rider Levett Bucknall’s Crane Index indicates that in terms of tower cranes, there has been more activity year-on-year in Dubai, Abu Dhabi and Doha. In Dubai, this is attributed to the residential and hospitality projects, whereas in Abu Dhabi it is residential and industrial segments that are responsible for the increase in cranes seen working in the emirate. The obvious reason behind Doha’s increased activity is the 2022 FIFA World Cup, and the index supports that — as infrastructure and transportation projects are reported to account for 30% of the more than 500 cranes at work.”