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Participation at The Big 5 up 6% as GCC construction industry soars

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22 Nov 2015

Participation at The Big 5 up 6% as  GCC construction industry soars

The Big 5 opens tomorrow at Dubai World Trade Centre and the event organisers have announced the number of participants at this year’s event is set to rise 6% to 85,000, based on data taken from last year’s record-breaking exhibition and pre-registration figures for 2015.

Among the top visiting countries to the event will be the UAE, Saudi Arabia, Iran, India, Oman, Qatar, Kuwait, Bahrain, Egypt and Pakistan.

European nations are also gearing up for a big exhibition amid uncertainties in domestic markets, with Italy, Germany, Spain, Greece, and the UK ranked in the top ten exhibitor countries.

Some 3,000 exhibitors will bring thousands of certified construction products to The Big 5, as companies increasingly seeking to tap into the Middle East’s booming construction sector.

“Last year we pushed the show past the 80,000 barrier in terms of participants, and this year we are aiming even higher,” said Josine Heijmans, the show’s event director.

“Of course we’re benefitting from an upturn in the industry and the opportunities that are being created by a market that will by the end of this year, have awarded US$193 billion worth of contracts in 2015.”

“However, it is also very exciting to see the event grow organically again this year as we add more features to the event. This year, for example, visitors will have access to the biggest programme of free CPD-certified education in the Middle East and Asia, and even more live product demonstrations.”

Heijmans confirmed there will be 75 free CPD-certified workshops at the four-day event, and after Dubai was recently ranked the eleventh most attractive destination for foreign investment, one of the focuses of these workshops will be how to do business in UAE.
Green building certification will also feature as UAE maintains its position in the top ten countries for LEED certified buildings.

“In the last few years we’ve seen exponential growth in the demand for green building certification on account of its ability to reduce the overall cost of a building,” said Mario Senevirante, Director of Green Technologies.

Other workshops will cover sustainability, business intelligence, design and architecture, affordable housing, and technology in construction. But it is the chance to witness some of the world’s most innovative products first hand has contributed to the success of The Big 5 over the last few years, according to Nathan Waugh, Event Director for co-located shows Middle East Concrete and PMV Live.

“While other events in the region may focus on real estate or property development, The Big 5 spans the entire construction industry, from inception to design and construction, and with tighter budgets and greater demand on profit margins, the chance to be able to witness products, technologies, heavy machinery, and other equipment is important,” he said.

In addition, Dr. Alaa Ashmawy, Professor of Civil Engineering and Dean of the School of Engineering at the American University in Dubai, said the event is one of the unsung champions of the construction industry.

“Every year thousands of companies and individuals invest in The Big 5. In return, they are rewarded with an event that is as rich in ground-breaking products and technologies as it is in knowledge and expertise on how to maximise their use.”

”This is important, since many of the people at the event are responsible for designing, building, and influencing how our homes, offices, roads, hospitals, and public transport systems look and feel – and that is just the beginning of their ability to influence the built environment.”

In making his assertion, Dr. Ashmawy said there are so many intangible things that take place at The Big 5 that it is almost impossible to measure, but that the show’s influence as the cornerstone of the industry should not be diminished because of this.

As a the judges of the GAIA Awards 2015 at The Big 5, one of Dr. Ashmawy tasks will be to select the winning entries from among the 283 entries submitted in 2015.

The GAIA Awards were launched in 2008 at The Big 5 with the aim of promoting green building products and materials that contribute to sustainable development among rising environmental awareness in the construction industry, and Dr Ashmawy said companies have raised the bar this year.

“The standard is extremely high and we are privileged to have seen some remarkable products that have the potential to transform the construction industry.”

The winners of the 2015 GAIA Awards will be announced at a prestigious ceremony due to be held on 24th November at 2pm in the Technology in Construction Theatre at The Big 5.

The Big 5 will open from 11:00 to 19:00 daily from 23 to 26 November 2015.

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