Originated 37 years ago from the amalgamation of five separate product-focused events in Dubai, the Big 5 is the largest, most influential and renowned construction industry event in the Middle East today.
From November 21 to 24, The Big 5 2016 is expected to attract 75,000 participants, hosting over 3,000 exhibitors across the entire Dubai World Trade Centre venue. “No other show offers the opportunity to meet and network with so many key decision makers and industry professionals, sourcing thousands of products from international and local manufacturers,” said Event Director Josine Heijmans.
Alongside the exhibition, The Big 5 2016 will offer 75 free to attend and CPD-certified workshops, 30 Live Demonstrations, and a one day “Excellence in Construction Summit” gathering industry leaders to discuss latest technologies, innovations and best practices in construction.
Growing Market Opportunities
According to BNC’s “Dubai Construction Market 2016” report commissioned by The Big 5, over 3,700 projects are currently ongoing across the Emirate. Their total value is estimated around US$400 Billion.
“A growing population, the tourism sector, strategic government investments like the Dubai Plan 2021 and the Dubai Expo 2020 are fueling the local construction industry,” Heijmans commented.
Indeed, state planning is strongly supporting the construction market’s growth. The Government of Dubai has outlined an ambitious 2021 Plan, which includes the development of Dubai as a “Smart and Sustainable city”. The Emirate is also getting ready to welcome up to 25 million visitors to the first World Expo in the Middle East, 70% of which are expected to come from overseas. Total spend on infrastructure projects related to Dubai Expo 2020 might reach up to US$18 billion, with estimated development costs of the Dubai South Area between US$8.1 billion and US$8.7 billion.
Presenting the “Dubai Construction Market 2016” report, The Big 5 organisers, dmg events Middle East, Asia & Africa, stated that the shift towards smart and sustainable solutions and the introduction of new building regulations are motivating companies to look for new, innovative products and services.
A New Floor Plan
In order to meet this growing demand, the 2016 edition of The Big 5 will welcome attendees with a new floor plan, clustered in five product sectors. Heijmans is confident the new layout will facilitate business opportunities, while effectively responding to the current needs of all construction industry professionals.
“One of the key reasons for our visitors to attend The Big 5 is to look for specific products, innovations and new technologies as well to network with new or existing business partners and industry peers,” Heijmans stated.
The new floor plan is the result of a meticulous analysis of the industry’s current needs. The five product sectors in which exhibitors will be grouped this year are: Building Interiors & Finishes, MEP Services, Building Envelop & Special Construction, Construction Tools & Building Materials, and Smart Building & Design technologies.
Presenting The Big 5 2016’s new layout, Heijmans explained, “These main sectors are further broken down into subsectors, so it will be really easy to navigate the exhibition halls and find the right exhibitors and products. In addition, a new App, route planners, a search function on the website and staff onsite will further support visitors attending the show.”
Beyond offering both visitors and exhibitors a better experience, the new floor plan is studied to align with the construction industry’s current trends, as the introduction of the Smart Building & Design Technologies sector shows.
Focus on Sustainability
This year, there is also a stronger focus on sustainability at The Big 5.
The event will offer a dedicated agenda on the theme of “Sustainability is the Future”, with more than 10 CPD certified workshops delivered by industry experts. “Tools for Sustainable Development at District Level”, “Regional Technical Solutions for LEED”, “Zero Carbon Buildings: Management of Design and Construction” are just some of the workshops that visitors to The Big 5 2016 will be available.
Moreover, the eighth edition of The Big 5’s Gaia Awards, open to organisations distributing products within the MENA region, will honour companies in the construction sector whose products and services demonstrate a reduction of construction’s impact on the environment.
A panel of industry experts with acclaimed credentials will select the overall Gaia Awards winner on November 23 at the DWTC. And this year for the first time ever, shortlisted products will be voted for by the public through a voting page on The Big 5 2016 website. Voting stations will also be available at the Dubai World Trade Centre during the first and second day of the event.
“The Gaia Awards are an excellent platform to identify truly sustainable products in the Middle East,” Mario Seneviratne, managing director at Green Technologies and member of the Gaia Awards judging panel stated.
Unparalleled educational offer and the “Excellence in Construction Summit”
The Big 5 will also unveil the industry’s latest trends, innovations, challenges, opportunities and best practices. Workshops are divided into six agendas to meet every construction professional’s need: ‘Technology in Construction’, ‘Architecture and MEP services’, ‘Safety and Logistics’, ‘Sustainability is the Future’, ‘Business and Marketing Strategies’, and ‘Project Management’.
Also, on November 22, The Big 5’s ‘Excellence in Construction’ Summit will gather 500 industry leaders to discuss current and future trends of the construction sector in Dubai, the GCC region and beyond. The Dubai Economic Council (DEC) announced its strategic partnership with The Big 5 for the organisation of the Summit.
“Our endorsement of The Big 5 2016 and the Excellence in Construction Summit mirrors the Dubai Economic Council’s keenness to support and contribute to all activities that enhance Dubai’s economy,” said H.E. Hani Rashid Al Hamli, secretary general of the DEC. “The Big 5 is the largest construction event in the Middle East, and its Summit is a rich opportunity for all stakeholders who look forward to develop the construction industry.”
H.E. Hani Rashid Al Hamli will deliver a keynote speech at the ‘Excellence in Construction Summit’, offering a presentation on the construction industry in the current global economic framework. Also, DEC experts will partake at the workshop on the Public-Private Partnership (PPP) and the future development of the infrastructure industry in the UAE and GCC.
“We are extremely proud and honored by DEC’s decision to support The Big 5’s Summit this year,” Heijmans said. “We are confident this partnership will positively support Dubai’s Vision, providing strategic insights into a world of opportunities as well as challenges faced by construction professionals in the region and from around the world.”