Dubal still hot

29 February 2008

A JLG scissor lift rented from Johnson Arabia working on the new Dubai Metro project.

A JLG scissor lift rented from Johnson Arabia working on the new Dubai Metro project.

How long can the Dubai construction boom continue? Padraig Nagle, managing director of Dubai rental company Action International Services, laughs and tells IRN that it's a question that is asked every night in Dubai.

“There are arguments that Dubai is a bubble about to burst”, he says, “But it's a place with great ambitions. It's run like a business – I believe Dubai is just at the beginning of something great. It may plateau for a while, but I can't see it stopping.”

Action International Services, a locally-owned but Western-managed company, is one of the rental players that has been enjoying the extraordinary levels of construction activity. Mr Nagle, a Dubai resident for 11 years, says it is difficult to quantify the growth in rental, but his own company has been expanding each year by 50% to 100%. “In our opinion we have definitely outgrown our competitors“, he says.

Pumps

Action specialises in pump rental – it is a dealer for Godwin Pumps, Mody and BBA – and Mr Nagle says it is now the largest pump renter in the Middle East, with a fleet of over 2000 pumps. However, demand from its customers, mainly international contractors, has led Action to branch out into other specialist products over the past three to four years, including compressors, generators, welding equipment and air driers. It's a strategy that Mr Nagle says has proven successful.

Rental is an accepted part of the construction business in Dubai, says Mr Nagle, and is becoming more professional. It is also likely to become increasingly competitive as international players enter the market. For the time being, however, Action International and its local competitors are largely on their own, enjoying the benefits of the world's most vibrant construction market.

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