The Big 5, the Middle East’s leading international building and construction show, closed after a successful 4-day event, with exhibitors citing that it was the best ever in terms of doing business, and that prospects for the construction industry in the Middle East looking positive.
The Big 5 started on a high, with the official opening by HH Sheikh Hamdan bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Deputy Ruler of Dubai and Minister of Finance and Industry. Over 3,000 exhibitors from 52 countries showcased their latest products and services.
There were a number of high profile announcements of major deals, including a joint venture between Saudi Arabia’s Alessa Group and US maker of industrial conditioners Huntair Inc worth some US$200 million. In addition, UAE’s Mulk Holdings signed an US$80 million contract with Dacs Electro Systems for the manufacturing and distribution of its products. Mulk Holdings said that it had done more business at The Big 5 than in any previous year and is set to double its capacity over the next two years.
The positive vibe on the exhibition floor was supported by the speakers at The Big 5 Conference, who concluded that the Middle East is still the key region for the global construction industry, and is in better shape going forward than the rest of the world.
The environment was an overarching theme for The Big 5 this year, and the Green Education Stand offered help for exhibitors and visitors who wanted to adopt greener ways of working. Visitors also enjoyed the unique JCB dancing diggers show, and were impressed with the giant “Big 5” logo constructed by children from Horizon School from over 40,000 LEGO bricks.
Paula Al Chami, The Big 5 Event Director said, “Widely regarded as barometer of the construction industry, many people were waiting to see what would happen at this year’s The Big 5. We were delighted with the success of the show, which was beyond all expectations – it was particularly exceptional given the economic slowdown of the past year.
“The show halls were buzzing, and exhibitors were impressed with the quality of visitors we attracted this year. It was also great news that there were some announcements made during the event of significant contracts. This bodes well for the regional construction industry in the future, and we are now looking forward to next year’s event!”
Next year’s The Big 5 is scheduled to be held 21-24 November 2010.
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