Cranes once flocked to the emirate, but the construction downturn has hit demand badly

It used to be said that a quarter of the world's cranes were in Dubai, but now a new report looks set to kill off that urban myth once and for all. Demand for cranes in Dubai has fallen by about 50% from peak levels as the construction downturn lingers in the emirate.

One crane supplier said in an interview with a local paper that new orders had ground to a halt entirely.

David Semple, managing director of Manitowoc Cranes, a crane manufacturer, told Arabian Business: “For the last couple of months it has been zero, totally dead.”

At the peak of Dubai's construction boom it was estimated that there were 2,000 cranes in the emirate, but now there are less than half that amount, it is understood.

The peak time for the cranes market in the UAE was the middle of 2007, when Manitowoc Cranes was supplying 10-20 cranes a month, mainly in Dubai. Since then, the collapse of the property market has caused hundreds of projects to be cancelled or put on hold, leading crane hire prices down by around half.

In July 2008, the Dubai-based research house Proleads Group reported that more than 400 projects, with a total value of over £185bn, had been placed on hold or cancelled in the UAE.