PMV's Best Equipped

PMV's list of the biggest and fastest growing rental companies


Everybody’s going rental its seems, so PMV is taking a look at 15 of the biggest and fastest moving rental companies in the GCC market. Some have established reputations over decades of service, while others are new names or global players looking to grab a slice of the action.

Abdel Hadi Abdullah Al-Qahtani & Sons
Saudi Arabia’s Abdel Hadi Abdullah Al-Qahtani & Sons has been busy increasing its business in leases, quality-used equipment and trade-ins. First established in 1940, the company arrived relatively late in 2006 on the supply scene.

However its vehicle and machinery division now employs 300 and represents 12 suppliers covering earth-moving and material-handling equipment, power-generation and air systems, and trucks. Its rental business has been boosted with its clients increasingly preferring to rent equipment as they are reluctant to spend more capital.

While some globally recognised companies are only beginning to enter the market, Aggreko has been serving customers in the Middle East for the past 20 years.

Over those two decades it has made its contribution to the growth of the region by providing power solutions to the construction, oil and gas, and manufacturing industries.

Locally, it was also involved in powering the Emirates Dubai Rugby Sevens tournament in 2010 and has built a new facility at Lomondgate, UK to serve increasing power needs in the Middle East.

Access Rental Gulf
Established in 2008, Access Rental Gulf is another relatively new name in rental however it also has one of the most experienced teams in the Middle East.

Managing director Chris Light has over 25 years of experience in the field gained whilst running powered access rental operations across the Middle East.

Access Rental Gulf operates a rental fleet of over 300 powered access machines from manufacturers including scissor lifts from Skyjack and Haulotte and booms from Haulotte and Snorkel.

Units range in size from small 8 metre electric scissors to 28m diesel booms. It has expanded its operation from Dubai, and now has a foothold in Abu Dhabi and opened new operation in Saudi Arabia last year.

The name of Al-Bahar has been linked with Caterpillar for years ever since it established the first CAT Rental Store in Africa and the Middle East. Over the years, Al-Bahar has grown to be a major player in the rental market.

Mohamed Abdulrahman Al-Bahar first founded the company in 1937 and today has two major divisions– the Machinery Group and the General Trading Group.

Through its Machinery Group, established in 1959, the Sharjah-based company represents Caterpillar in Bahrain, Kuwait, Qatar, UAE and in Oman through its associate Oasis Trading and Equipment.

Additionally, its extensive line-up of materials handling equipment includes KoneCranes Lift Trucks, Hiab and Terex Cranes, Atlet Warehouse Trucks and Landoll Narrow Aisle Trucks.

Ali Al-Qahtani
Founded in 1984 by Ali Al-Qathani in Al-Khafji, in the Eastern Province of Saudi Arabia, Ali Al-Qathani remains a leading rental business in the east of the Kingdom.

The company started with a limited number of trucks and earthmoving equipment to serve the local market for the supply supplier of back filling material pertained to road construction, all types of earth works and civil construction works.

It opened a branch in Dammam in 1996 and has been very active in providing equipment rental services to the local market. It has enjoyed partnerships with Al Khafji Joint Operations and Arabian Drilling Company, and says that it is
still “fast-growing”.

Emirates Technical Services (ETS) caters for the entire Middle East from Sharjah and Abu Dhabi. The company has five divisions covering scaffolding and heavy equipment rental.

The company is one of the UAE’s oldest rental companies has continued to increase its fleet of portable air compressors from Atlas Copco and now has a fleet of 44 compressors and growing.

Dutco is a major player in the GCC’s construction industry via a diverse range of construction and engineering activity.

The company is one of the largest civil engineering, roadworks, drainage, bridge and dam contractors in the UAE and also offers clients the focus and expertise of specialist scaffolding and formwork, interiors and plant divisions.

The company provides scaffolding and shuttering services, access equipment, micro tunnelling and generators hire from its base of operations in Jebel Ali outside of Dubai.

Big Rental Int.
BIG Rental International is a division of the Dutch business group Big Machinery and operates outside the Benelux in the international market of heavy construction and transport equipment rentals.

In the Middle East, it focuses on the rental of heavy construction equipment, load and carry equipment, material handling, on- and offshore projects and mining-projects equipment among other lines of business.

The company has its own base and workshops for servicing in Dubai. Among the machines at BIG Rental are those from Caterpillar, Hitachi, Komatsu, Volvo and Mercedes-Benz.

Via its partnership with contractor Van Oord it has been involved in projects such as Dubai Maritime City, Dubai Waterfronts - Jebel Ali, the Deira Corniche and the Palm Jumeirah.

Danway, the engineering arm of Al-Nowais Investments, was founded in 1976. Since then, the company has outgrown its
modest beginnings to become a multi-divisional corporation representing more than one hundred world-renowned companies in the fields of electro-mechanical and instrumentation equipment supply and service.

Systematic diversification has been the core strength of Danway and has attributed to the tremendous growth
of the company over the years.

ILE Rental
ILE is at the forefront of mobile screen supply in the UAE, Qatar and Oman. A true UAE and European collaboration, ILE’s two founding partners boast 30 years of experience in sales and purchasing of heavy equipment and the building and construction sector between them.

To present the product and its capacity in real time to interested parties, the company frequently presents its range of mobile screens and impact crushers, available for either short or long-term projects, in live demonstrations.

Oriental Trading Company (OTC)
OTC is another long-serving company after being established in 1957 by a group of prominent Qatari businessmen. Among its first deals, was winning the right to distribute Atlas Copco’s products in Qatar.

Petroserv acquired its shares in 1987 and formed a new combined trading division which then continued to diversify and expand to meet market requirements.

Realising the market potential for a company to cater for the booming construction industry and ‘shot blasting’ applications in the petroleum and gas fabrication yards, the company moved into rental.

Starting with a fleet of just five XA186 compressors, the OTC Rental fleet today comprises 300 units and owns one of the largest compressor fleets in the region.

Rental Solutions & Services (RSS)
Rental Solutions & Services (RSS) grabbed $15 million worth of funding from Lloyds to strengthen its position in the Middle East last year.

RSS is a relatively new name in rental, having formed in 2007 as a separate business fom former parent International Tubular Services, however, the company has plans to penetrate the market right across the region, with its brand new fleet and strong customer service being selling points.

Among its high profile clients are the Jumeirah Palm Islands and the Dubai Metro, but RSS has recently diversified and spread its net into the wider Middle East market in order to reduce its dependency on Dubai and Abu Dhabi.

Milan Balac, managing director of RSS was recognised by PMV’s sister title MEP in 2008 when his company won the Specialist Contractor of the Year.

Speedy Hire
A familiar name in Europe, Speedy Hire moved into the Middle East by teaming up with Al-Futtaim Carillion (AFC), the Dubai-based JV between UK contractor Carillion and local giant Al-Futtaim last year.

Speedy said the deal gives it a platform to offer rental services to other customers in the region, and the potential to move into “other geographies over time”.

The two companies have signed a MoU for Speedy that ensures that it will provide equipment, asset management and site support services to AFC’s operations throughout the Middle East. The asset management specialist is also working on projects in Oman and Egypt, and will soon be providing services in Qatar and Saudi Arabia.

Speedy is investing £8.5 million investment in equipment and announced at its launch that it was opening a 50,000 sqm depot base of operations at Mussafah, Abu Dhabi.

Formerly known as GLRC, the rental company belonging to the mighty Kanoo offers a large fleet supported by a group of full service workshops and a mobile team of onsite mechanics to keep the rented fleets fully operational at all times.

Meeting the ever increasing market demand for quality rentable equipment in the GCC, Kanoo Equipment Rental says that it offers machines from some of the industry’s most familiar names such as Hyster, GEDA, Bobcat, Lincoln, Sullair, Hitachi, AUSA and Cummins and Perkins.

Nixon Hire
Like Speedy, Nixon Hire is a European player expanding in the region. The latest venture for one of the UK’s leading independent construction equipment rental companies, Nixon Hire Middle East first established its depot in Doha, Qatar at the end of 2009.

Headed by ops manager Frank McMahon, Nixon has sustained month on month growth of 10% and must be commended for identifying the World Cup 2022 as a major opportunity in its market – even before it was announced that Qatar had won the bid. Now that’s foresight.

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