Wall St. doubts crane count

A leading US newspaper has called into question the often-repeated statistic that more than a third of the world's tower cranes are in Dubai.

The oft-quoted myth that a third of the world's tower cranes are in Dubai is questioned
The oft-quoted myth that a third of the world's tower cranes are in Dubai is questioned

A leading US newspaper has called into question the often-repeated statistic that more than a third of the world's tower cranes are in Dubai.

The Wall Street Journal's 'Numbers Guy', Carl Bialik points out the unreliability of the figure, stating that it "the source of this popular myth about Dubai is unclear, and it has been debunked almost as long as it has been repeated.

He goes on to say "Yet it may have reached false-stat immortality thanks to its dovetailing with the true story that Dubai is construction mad.

Using an estimate from Manitowoc that there are between 800 and 1,000 TCs in the Emirate, Bialik deduces that, based on a worldwide total of 100,000 units, there is only around one percent of the total operating.

Both of these numbers are questionable, as the writer points out in the same article. As major projects frequently lose count of the number of cranes, and no central registration system, it is very hard to quantify the units in operation.

Additionally, there is no record kept of cranes being broken up. Shata Mahdiyone of Select Plant Hire said "It's just scrapped. It isn't like they have a frame number or anything." He added that the amount of cranes in Dubai was the "Sixty-four thousand dollar question", what everybody would like to know.

Do you know how many cranes there are in Dubai? Can you have a guess? Let us know be emailing greg.whitaker@itp.com

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